Following the terrorist shooting last week by a Saudi aviation student at the Navy Air Base in Pensacola, the Navy has just suspended the entire program and grounded all 175 Saudi students:
Navy says flight training suspended for about 175 Saudi Arabian students in wake of Florida base shooting Friday.
— Terry McFadden (@TMcFaddenWNDU) December 10, 2019
US Navy suspends flight training for 175 Saudi Arabian students at 3 bases in Florida following the deadly shooting at NAS Pensacola. (via @AP)
— KOAA News5 (@KOAA) December 10, 2019
It’s also being reported today that the Saudi national who committed the shooting was able to purchase his 9mm Glock 45 because he had a hunting license:
The Saudi Air Force lieutenant who killed three people with a 9 mm Glock bought the weapon legally, because federal law allows foreign nationals with a hunting license to buy guns. He may have been able to buy it with other exceptions to the law as well, the FBI said Tuesday.
— Frances Robles (@FrancesRobles) December 10, 2019
Here’s more from DC Examiner:
Alshamrani made use of an exception under federal law that allowed him to purchase the weapon, according to a Tuesday statement from public affairs officer Amanda Videll of the FBI.
Videll said that the gun was purchased on July 20 from a federal firearms licensed dealer in Florida. She said that he used a valid Florida hunting license to qualify for an exemption that allowed him to make the purchase despite being admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa.
“The exception under which [Alshamrani] qualified to purchase a firearm was a valid Florida hunting license, but he may have qualified under other exceptions as well,” Videll said. “The preliminary investigation into the firearm purchase has not revealed any information to suggest that the sale was unlawful.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that he thinks the U.S. to needs look into the exceptions that could allow someone like Alshamrani to legally purchase firearms.
“That’s a federal loophole he took advantage of,” DeSantis said. “I’m a big supporter of the Second Amendment, but the Second Amendment is so that we the American people can keep and bear arms. It does not apply to Saudi Arabians.
“He had no constitutional right to do that, for sure,” the governor added.
I completely agree with DeSantis. I’m not even sure why a foreigner in a program like this needs a hunting license either.
But even more than that, I think this Saudi national aviation training program needs to be suspended indefinitely, not just temporarily.