Dec 11, 2019

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

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."
— 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.

Go deeper: Pentagon to review international student vetting in wake of Pensacola attack

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Congress approves $25 million in funding for gun violence research

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

A federal spending deal reached in Congress Monday is set to allocate $25 million toward gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health.

Why it matters: Scientific reports show that a lack of data on gun violence has delayed pivotal reforms despite persistent mass shootings. The Dickey Amendment, which states that funds provided to the CDC may not be used to "advocate or promote gun control," has complicated efforts to conduct gun violence research since it was passed in 1996.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

Trump praises Texas parishioners who fatally shot gunman and state gun laws

President Trump tweeted his praise Monday for the parishioners who returned fire on a gunman on a gunman who entered their church in Fort Worth, Texas, and the state's gun laws.

"Our prayers are with the families of the victims and the congregation of yesterday’s church attack. It was over in 6 seconds thanks to the brave parishioners who acted to protect 242 fellow worshippers. Lives were saved by these heroes, and Texas laws allowing them to carry arms!"
Go deeperArrowDec 31, 2019

Nothing but sunshine for AVs in Florida

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Florida has become a hotbed for self-driving cars, thanks to its mild weather, unique demographics, lenient laws and an ambitious state senator.

Why it matters: States at the forefront of autonomous vehicle testing stand to reap the economic benefits — and perhaps problems, too — of self-driving cars.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019