By Trip Elix
One of the glaring problems within our society is the lack of free and easy access to criminal records. Our government courts are the creator of the majority of records used in the criminal background process. There is not a reliable open central national database of criminal records. This allows criminals to stay hidden within society. The National Crime Information Center is a computerized system of criminal justice information which includes; criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen properties and missing persons. It is available to federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is operated by the FBI and the bureau states publicly about the deficiencies in its own system. It advises agencies that have access to the system that it should not rely solely on the NCIC when doing background checks.
Private Citizens are legally barred from accessing the NCIC system. Licensed firearm dealers are required to call The National Instant Criminal Background Check System which is also operated by the FBI. Private citizens have no such recourse. The FBI claims that there have been over 700 thousand denials since the system was put into place.
All citizens should know who the criminals are among us. The only resource that is left to the general population are the data brokers, who do a lousy job of correctly identifying criminals. Criminal checks within the private industry are far from accurate and known by those in the industry as having unreliable and misleading information.
Criminal information is not regulated and should not be in the hands of the private industry. Law enforcement needs up-to-date and accurate criminal information. A central system of free and open criminal records should be part of our system of government for everyone to use. If criminal records were available online and found to be incorrect it would be easy to identify. It would be a benefit to all of our society including law enforcement.
There are already laws on the books to cover erroneous reporting of information to the government. The existing system could stay in place and allow the common sense of the people to take responsibility for their own actions. It is already a crime to knowingly sell a firearm to a criminal.
The regulated credit system has confused society into falsely recognizing reliability within individuals using a totally separate and problematic method. The credit scoring has been instituted as a substitute for personal charter. It has been able to do this because of the lack of availability of criminal information available to society. The value placed on credit reports is not the same as criminal history nevertheless judgment of character is marketed by the credit industry. The credit system has a lousy history of correcting its errors. The Federal Trade Commission and Congress rewrite the rules for the regulated industry regularly because of problematic business practices. Some of the companies in the regulated credit industry also sell criminal background checks, along with a wide array of other personal information. These are prime reasons why criminal information is best served by the government. Companies that sell personal information are also known as data brokers.
Criminal records should be for all to view.
An open central system would be a benefit to all citizens and all types of business, including those that sell any type of weapon including firearms. Anyone who sells any type of weapon should know who they are selling it to. It would also eliminate many of today’s problems of misidentified, misleading and incorrect information that is for sale on the internet. The online data brokers selling criminal information was created because of the secret vail made by our federal government surrounding criminal information. A direct side effect of its own policy has contributed to identity theft something our population can live without.