PENSACOLA, Fla. – The gunman who left three dead and eight injured in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday used a hunting license to legally purchase the 9mm Glock 45 pistol on July 20 from a federal-firearms-licensed dealer in Florida, the FBI’s Jacksonville Division announced Tuesday.
“Under federal law, an alien who is admitted to the US under a nonimmigrant visa is prohibited from having a gun and ammo unless the alien falls within one of the exceptions provided in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2),” according to a tweet from the FBI division.
The shooter, a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, qualified to purchase the firearm using a valid hunting license, and “he may have qualified under other exceptions as well,” the division tweeted.
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Under U.S.code, foreign nationals who have been lawfully admitted to the USA can purchase and possess a gun under a few conditions:
- If they were admitted to the USA for lawful hunting or sporting purposes, or if they are in possession of a U.S.-issued hunting license or permit.
- If they are an official representative of a foreign government who is accredited with the U.S. government; if they are accredited with a government-partnered international organization headquartered in the USA; or if they are in transit to or from a country where they are accredited.
- If they are an official of a foreign government or a distinguished foreign visitor as designated by the U.S. Department of State.
- If they are a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the USA on official law enforcement business.
There is also a process by which foreign nationals can petition the U.S. attorney general directly for a waiver that allows them to possess a gun.
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