Gun in deadly Navy station attack bought legally in July

(FBI / Supplied)

The handgun used by a Saudi aviation student to kill three American sailors and injure eight other people at a Pensacola naval base was legally purchased in July from a Florida dealer, federal authorities confirmed Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the FBI said the 9mm Glock pistol was legally purchased by the shooter, Mohammed Alshamrani.

The 21-year-old Saudi aviation student was killed after opening fire at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

"The investigation into the #PensacolaShooter has revealed that a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer in Florida sold him a 9mm Glock pistol on 7/20/19," said FBI spokeswoman Amanda Warford Videll in a statement.

“The preliminary investigation into the firearm purchase has not revealed any information to suggest that the sale was unlawful,” she added.

The FBI said Alshamrani qualified for an exception to laws prohibiting foreign nationals from having a gun because he had a valid Florida hunting license. Authorities said he may have also qualified under other exceptions specified by federal law.

At a Sunday news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis called for a review of federal laws that allow foreign nationals to possess guns on U.S. soil.

“That's a federal loophole he took advantage of,” the governor said.

“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. This does not apply to Saudi Arabians," DeSantis said.

“I always thought that foreign nationals, except for certain law enforcement, just were not allowed to purchase firearms. So, I think they should definitely look at that,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.