Dec 11, 2019

Gov. DeSantis decries "loophole" allowing Pensacola shooter to buy gun

In this image, Ron DeSantis stands in a suit and tie and speaks into multiple reporters' microphones while standing outside.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the press following the shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Base, Dec. 6. Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

The Jacksonville FBI office confirmed on Tuesday that the Pensacola shooter, a Saudi Arabian citizen, legally obtained a handgun in the U.S. by having a valid Florida hunting license.

Driving the news: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) denounced the federal exemption that allowed the shooter to legally purchase a gun and said that the regulation should be reexamined, calling it a "loophole."

"That's a federal loophole that he took advantage of. 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. It does not apply to Saudi Arabians."
"So he had no constitutional right to do that for sure. Why the federal law has that, I'm just not sure. I was not aware of that ... so, yeah, I think they should definitely look at that."
ā€” Ron DeSantis, in a press briefing on Sunday

Background: DeSantis signed a state law in May allowing classroom teachers to be armed in response to school shootings like the one in Parkland in 2018.

  • Under Florida's previous governor, Rick Scott (R), Parkland prompted gun control measures, including raising the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 and extending waiting periods.

Yes, but: The exemption in question exists at the federal level, not the state.

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