The Pensacola shooting points to the real issue: firearms are too easy for too many of the wrong people in this country to obtain.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to close a “loophole” that allowed a citizen of Saudi Arabia to legally buy a handgun and ammunition used to kill three people and wound eight others at Naval Air Station Pensacola.


The FWC’s proposal to prevent foreigners from buying handguns if they hold Florida hunting licenses is in line with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ own sentiment that the Second Amendment “does not apply to Saudi Arabians.”


Closing such a glaring loophole in U.S. gun laws is clearly the right thing to do. It’s also far from enough.


What about the “gun show loophole”? What about the so-called “boyfriend loophole”? Either has allowed alleged terrorists to easily acquire firearms that have killed Americans.


Whether he intended to or not, DeSantis is making an argument to limit access to firearms. And that has been the central argument of gun control and safety advocates for decades. Yet, after every tragic mass shooting, those arguments are thwarted by a powerful gun lobby that places profit above American lives.


Witness 21-year-old Mohammed Alshamrani, a Royal Saudi Air Force officer undergoing months of flight training at the Pensacola military base. He legally purchased a Glock 45 handgun despite being neither a U.S. citizen or resident.


Alshamrani, who was shot dead at the scene by sheriff’s deputies, obtained a Florida hunting license, a relatively easy procedure that qualified him for one of the “loopholes” to the federal law that prohibits foreign nationals from purchasing firearms in this country.


The reality is the Pensacola gunman could have bought such a weapon even without a hunting license in Florida. Private sellers here are not required to conduct background checks.


According to the advocacy organization Everytown for Gun Safety, last year there were more than 93,000 ads in the Armslist marketplace for guns sold by private sellers in Florida.


Even a background check, which pulls information from a national database, may have served little purpose in this case because it does not include records of possible violations from abroad.


The FBI expressed concerns about the hunting-license exception as far back as May, warning that it could be exploited by extremists and criminals to commit violence, Yahoo News reported.


Yet already, gun-rights supporters are pushing back on limits to the hunting license exception. They argue that just as Americans travel overseas to hunt, foreigners travel to the U.S. to bag animals that don’t exist in their home countries.


With all due respect, those countries aren’t dealing with deadly mass shootings on an almost weekly basis.


DeSantis is right that it is difficult to defend the hunting-license loophole. But he shouldn’t stop there if his aim is truly the safety of all Florida residents.


The Pensacola shooting points to the real issue: firearms are too easy for too many of the wrong people in this country to obtain.


Our governor would appear to agree. But trying to close just one dangerous loophole in U.S. gun laws is not only short-sighted, it’s poor sighting.


This guest editorial was originally published by the Palm Beach Post, a sister newspaper within Gannett.