The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally | The gunman was a Saudi national living in the US as an aviation student. 'Nonimmigrant aliens' are typically barred from buying guns.

The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally

The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally

The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally

The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally

The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally

The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally
The Pensacola naval base shooter reportedly used a loophole to buy his gun legally
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A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on December 06, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida.
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A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on December 06, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida.
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Getty Images/Josh Brasted

  • The Saudi national who fatally shot three people at a Florida naval base on Friday bought his gun legally even though people designated as “nonimmigrant aliens” are not typically allowed to do so, NBC News reported.
  • But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says there are exceptions for those with a valid hunting license or permit, and those from “a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official law enforcement business.”
  • NBC News cited sources that said the shooter had a license and bought his weapon from a dealer in Pensacola.
  • The gunman, whom news outlets have identified as Mohammed Said Alshamrani, was a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force who was in the US as an aviation student.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Saudi national who fatally shot three people at a Florida naval base on Friday bought his gun legally even though so-called “nonimmigrant aliens” are not typically allowed to do so, NBC News reported Saturday.

The gunman, whom news outlets have identified as Mohammed Said Alshamrani, was a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force who was in the US as an aviation student.

Though non-citizens who hold US visas are typically barred from buying guns, NBC News reported that he exploited a loophole that allowed him to purchase one legally.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says anyone admitted to the US under a nonimmigrant visa is typically “prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing a firearm or ammunition,” but there are exceptions for those with a valid hunting license or permit, and those who were admitted for “lawful hunting or sporting purposes.”

An aerial photo of NAS Pensacola and its surrounds.

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An aerial photo of NAS Pensacola and its surrounds.
source
Google Maps

NBC News cited sources that said the shooter had such a license and bought his weapon from a dealer in Pensacola.

The Washington Post also highlighted another ATF regulation allowing non-citizens to possess firearms if they’re from “a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official law enforcement business.”

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday he could not confirm whether the attack was an act of terrorism, and that investigators needed to continue working to determine the motive.

Yet a number of disturbing details have come to light since the shooting, including that the gunman reportedly hosted a dinner party not long before the attack, in which the guests watched mass shooting videos.

The SITE Intel Group also conducted an analysis of what is believed to be the shooter’s Twitter page, which reportedly featured anti-American posts and echoed Osama Bin Laden.

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Trump and his team are going out of their way to tell everyone how sorry Saudi Arabia is about the shooting at a Florida naval base

Trump and his team are going out of their way to tell everyone how sorry Saudi Arabia is about the shooting at a Florida naval base

President Donald Trump delivers a speech during Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017.
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President Donald Trump delivers a speech during Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017.
source
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

  • A member of the Saudi military killed three people and injured seven others when he opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola Friday, authorities said.
  • In the wake of the shooting, President Donald Trump and other members of his administration have been repeatedly telling the public how “devastated” Saudi Arabia is about what happened.
  • Trump said Saturday that the Saudi leadership would somehow be involved in taking care of the families affected by the shooting.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A member of the Saudi military who was in the US for training opened fire at a naval base in Florida Friday. In the wake of the shooting that killed three people, the Trump administration has been repeatedly telling the public how sorry Saudi Arabia is about what happened.

The suspect, whom news outlets have identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, killed three and injured seven others at Naval Air Station Pensacola before he was killed by local law enforcement, authorities said.

The incident has the potential to stress the alliance between the US and Saudi Arabia, but the president and other members of his administration seem determined to prevent that.

After expressing his personal sympathies, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday afternoon that King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had called the Trump to “express his sincere condolences.”

The suspect is said to have hosted a dinner party prior to the shooting where he and other Saudi students at the base watched mass shooting videos. Additionally, a Twitter page believed to belong to the suspect but that has since been suspended was reportedly filled with anti-American posts and Osama bin Laden quotes.

Speaking Saturday, Trump revealed that the Saudi Arabian leadership was “devastated” by the attack, adding that they will be involved in taking care of the families affected by the incident.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stepped in to highlight the feelings of his Saudi counterpart, Foreign Minister Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.

In response to Pompeo’s tweet, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, tweeted: “It’s unnerving how eager everyone in this Administration is to be PR agents for the Saudis.”

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Saturday that he was not prepared to call the shooting an act of terrorism, perhaps because authorities and investigators have yet to determine a motive. Esper further explained that the incident at NAS Pensacola would not affect his decision making on US troop deployments to Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia is a longstanding partner of ours in the region,” he said.

After the tragic shooting Friday, Esper said in a statement that he is “considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families.” On Saturday, he clarified that entails boosting base security and strengthening the vetting process.

Trump has also said that perhaps the US needs to take a look at how the American military trains foreign nationals in the US.

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