Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to introduce legislation that 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 an illegal immigrant tries to purchase a gun.

“Alerting the proper authorities when illegal immigrants seek to obtain firearms is commonsense. I’m proud to join Senator Cotton and our colleagues on this legislation to help protect our communities,” Boozman said. 

“Those who come into America illegally should be detained and deported. They certainly shouldn’t be able to purchase a firearm. Our bill is necessary to ensure the proper authorities are notified when an illegal immigrant attempts to buy a gun,” Cotton said. 

“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. 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,” said Tillis.

“Our local law enforcement and immigration officials should have the tools to know if folks are in our country illegally. Instead of taking every opportunity to crack down on lawful FFLs just trying to earn a living, the Biden administration should capitalize on their dutiful work by using their resources to prevent unlawful actions by illegal immigrants. In the face of the border crisis of its own making, President Biden’s priorities again are out of touch. This bill will help officials do their job and keep our communities safe,” said Ernst 

“I have no confidence in this administration’s willingness or ability to prevent illegal aliens from unlawfully entering our country, let alone in preventing them from illegally obtaining a firearm,” said Lummis. “If this administration refuses to enforce our existing immigration laws, we must empower law enforcement and immigration officials to hold them accountable and take appropriate action to keep our communities safe.” 

Bill text may be found here.


  • When a person tries to buy a firearm from a store, the firearm seller, known as a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), contacts the NICS to conduct a background check. That background check verifies the buyer is not ineligible to purchase or own a firearm.
  • The FBI maintains a record of prohibited persons which currently includes the names of 14.8 million illegal immigrants. NICS is not, however, required to notify immigration authorities if an applicant is in the country illegally.
  • Since November 30, 1998, NICS has issued denials for 49,411 attempted firearm purchases by illegal immigrants.