NAPO Washington Reports

Meetings on Capitol Hill

February 12, 2013

On Monday, February 11 NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson met on Capitol Hill with Stephen Tausand with Sen. Cornyn's office and Blair Bjellos of Rep. Poe's office.  They discussed proposed changes made to the SAFER Act in response to concerns raised by the states and others.  This is the bill that encourages states and local governments to catalogue and reduce their backlog in untested rape kits.  SAFER is moving within VAWA in the Senate and the discussion focused more about the bill and its path in the House.

Johnson also met with Kelly Harbitter of SEARCH (the national consortium for criminal history records and statistics).  The discussion focused on how the background check program works and how states are doing in uploading their criminal records histories, as well as the barriers to uploading mental health records into the gun background check database.  This is particularly timely given the national focus on this issue and the likelihood that Congress will be moving legislation to expand the background checks system.

This meeting was part of NAPO’s continued participation in criminal justice lobbying and information activities on Capitol Hill, and work with the National Criminal Justice Association. 

Reminder that tonight is the President’s State of the Union address to Congress.  You can expect President Obama to address 5 themes:  1.  His legislative agenda for congress;  2.  Jobs and the economy;  3.  Firearms issues;  4.  Immigration; and  5.  Green issues.   NAPO will report on the address and its implications for law enforcement in our next Washington Report.