Proposed legislation requires notification to immigration authorities when non-citizens attempt to purchase firearms

According to The Center Square, an estimated 15 million individuals who are either residing in or entering the country illegally are included in an FBI list that prevents them from purchasing firearms.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check system is not currently obligated to inform immigration authorities if one of the 14.8 million individuals undergoing a background check is an applicant and residing in the United States. However, there have been proposals to modify this legislation.

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina and co-sponsor of the bill, highlights the purpose of the legislation. He emphasizes that purchasing firearms is already prohibited for illegal immigrants by law. The proposed legislation aims to ensure that appropriate authorities are notified when an illegal immigrant attempts to violate this law.

Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton has introduced legislation known as the Illegal Alien NICS Alert Act, in collaboration with Republican Senators John Boozman of Arkansas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.

In a statement, Cotton emphasized the need to detain and deport individuals who enter the United States illegally. He firmly believes that these individuals should not have the ability to purchase firearms. Cotton argues that their attempt to buy a gun should be reported to the appropriate authorities.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) would be required to inform U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement authorities if individuals residing in the country unlawfully attempt to buy firearms.

According to a press release from Tillis, the background check system has prevented 49,411 individuals who are in the country illegally from purchasing firearms since November 30, 1998.

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When purchasing a firearm at a store, the federal firearms licensee is responsible for conducting a background check through the designated system. This process involves verifying or denying the prospective purchaser’s eligibility. It is important to note that the FBI maintains a record of prohibited individuals, including 14.8 million undocumented immigrants, but they are not obligated to inform immigration authorities or law enforcement agencies.

According to Lummis, she lacks faith in the current administration’s capacity or willingness to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the country unlawfully, let alone prevent them from acquiring firearms through illegal means.

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