NBFAA Pursues Access to Federal Criminal Database

Irving, Texas

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) has filed legislation on behalf of the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) to allow security companies access to the federal criminal database in an effort to protect families and businesses from convicted felons, violent criminals and sexual predators. If passed, the bill would allow fire and security alarm installation companies, and security monitoring companies to gain access to background checks before hiring new employees

H.R. 1939, the “Electronic Life Safety and Security System Federal Background Check Act of 2009,” permits industry access to a database which can be used to check a potential employee’s criminal history. Congress has authorized similar access in the past to groups such as banks, credit unions and private security guards.

“It is outrageous that a potential felon could have access to our citizens’ homes and businesses without the employer knowing his or her record, and that is why this legislation is so important,” says Luetkemeyer. “It would be irresponsible to allow this to continue because it puts those families and businesses who think they are being protected at risk.”

States are currently not informed of crimes committed in other states, and many private background check services do not capture complete law enforcement information during the hiring process. Some states have no background check requirements for the security industry. While not a government mandate, the legislation offers the electronic life safety and security industry access to the same background information that is currently available to many other groups, according to the NBFAA.

Once the legislation is passed, the industry will need to secure support from the Attorney General to permit states to access the database. The bill also recommends certain standards for the Attorney General and Department of Justice (DoJ) for those states wishing to participate, including a reciprocity requirement and NBFAA’s involvement as part of the background check process.

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