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Nelson: Pulse Shooter Read ISIS Material "Over A Period Of Time"

Sen. Bill Nelson says ISIS motivated the Pulse shooter more than any desire to commit a hate crime against the LGBT or Hispanic communities.

The central Florida Democrat says that's his conclusion after a briefing from a senior FBI official about the June 12 mass shooting, the worst in modern American history.

Nelson says the shooter had no direct affiliation with the terrorist organization. He says the 29-year-old Florida man acted independently and had "gone to a number of sites having to do with ISIS and had read that material over a period of time."

He declined further comment on the ongoing FBI investigation.

Nelson says he continues to pursue gun reform after the shooting.

He is pushing a measure that would require the FBI to be notified if someone who used to be on the Terrorist Watchlist bought a gun.

He says such a measure might have stopped the gunman who killed or wounded more than a 100 at Pulse.

"In buying the kind of assault weapons that he bought with all of the clips, I think that would definitely be a tip-off to the FBI since he bought them almost a week out from the shooting."

Nelson says the bill has no opposition.

An earlier Senate effort at gun reform failed. Detractors including Gov. Rick Scott say the nation should focus instead on fighting terrorism.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.