- Legally, foreign nationals who come to the US on a non-immigrant visa cannot purchase a firearm or ammunition, but there are exceptions.
- The FBI revealed Tuesday that Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani had a valid hunting license that allowed him to purchase a 9mm Glock in July.
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The Saudi national who killed three US Navy sailors and injured several other people with a handgun at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida on Friday bought a firearm with the help of a legal loophole.
The investigation into Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, Saudi military officer who was in the US for training, has revealed that a licensed dealer sold him a 9mm Glock pistol on July 20 of this year, the FBI's Jacksonville field office tweeted Tuesday.
The FBI said Sunday that the shooter purchased his weapon "legally and lawfully." Speaking at a press conference Sunday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the shooter was able to get his hands on a weapon by taking advantage of a "federal loophole," Navy Times reported .
Legally, any foreign national who comes to the US on a non-immigrant visa, as Alshamrani had, is prohibited from purchasing a firearm or ammunition.
There are, however, exceptions to the rule.
"The exception under which the #PensacolaShooter qualified to purchase a firearm was a valid Florida hunting license," the FBI tweeted, adding that he "may have qualified under other exceptions as well."
Other exceptions include official representatives of a foreign government, a foreign official or distinguished foreign visitor as designated by the Department of State, or a foreign law enforcement officer from a friendly government in the US on official law enforcement business.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, after first denying that Alshamrani had a valid hunting license, confirmed to Navy Times Monday evening that he did, in fact, have a hunting license. That reporting was confirmed by the FBI Tuesday.
"I'm a big supporter of the Second Amendment, but the Second Amendment applies so that we, the American people, can keep and bear arms," DeSantis said Sunday, adding that "it does not apply to Saudi Arabians."
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