Photo: Senator Marsha Blackburn
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ CC
Published April 26, 2021
Washington D.C. –
Last week, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) introduced the Illegal Alien NICS Alert Act.
“Illegal aliens have no right to be in this country let alone purchase a firearm here. Of course, law enforcement should be notified when an illegal alien attempts to obtain a gun,” said Blackburn.
The bill would require the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS) to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and relevant local law enforcement when a firearm transferee is illegally present in the United States.
“If someone in the country illegally tries to get a gun, immigration officials and the local authorities need to know. Our bill ensures that illegal aliens who attempt to purchase firearms are reported to the proper authorities,” said Cotton.
“The National Instant Criminal Background Check system is an important tool to ensure firearms stay out of the wrong hands, which is why I co-introduced the Fix NICS Act last Congress,” said Tillis. “It is already against the law for an illegal immigrant to purchase a firearm, and this legislation would notify the appropriate authorities when an illegal immigrant tries to break the law.”
Federal law already prohibits any persons from possessing or receiving a firearm if they are unlawfully in the United States.
NICS is not, however, currently required to notify immigration authorities if an applicant is in the country illegally.
“Our local law enforcement and immigration officials should have the tools to know if folks that are in our country illegally attempt to purchase firearms unlawfully. This bill will help officials do their job and keep our communities safe,” said Ernst.
“Enforcing our border laws is a crucial priority of any government. Equally important is protecting law-abiding Americans from those who break the law to enter the country, and then illegally seek firearms to commit crimes,” said Hawley.
Since November 30, 1998, NICS has issued denials for 36,189 attempted firearm purchases by illegal aliens.
Over the 15-month period from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 NICS issued denials for 7,373 attempted purchases by illegal aliens.