Trump says tougher gun laws not answer after Texas shooting

Posted: Updated:

By JILL COLVIN
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - President Donald Trump says tougher gun laws would not have prevented a mass shooting at a south Texas church, arguing that more restrictions might have led to more casualties.

Trump spoke at a news conference in South Korea Tuesday where he was asked about "extreme vetting" for gun purchases. Trump said: "If you did what you're suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago and you might not have had that very brave person who happens to have a gun or a rifle in his trunk."

As he did following last month's Las Vegas massacre of 58 people, Trump pushed back against the question, calling it a "situation that probably shouldn't be discussed too much" and noted that he was "in the heart of South Korea."

Trump added that if the Good Samaritan didn't have a gun, "instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead."

Authorities say Devin Patrick Kelley fired at least 450 rounds of ammunition at worshippers in Sunday's attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. The dead ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old.

Trump's more muted response to gun violence contrasts with his swift call for legislative and military action following the Oct. 31 truck attack in New York City. Within hours of a rental truck ramming through a crowded bicycle path and into a school bus, Trump called for Congress to "immediately" repeal the diversity visa lottery program that suspect Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbekistan citizen, used to enter the country in 2010.

After the Las Vegas shooting, Trump and aides said it was inappropriate to consider a policy response while people were still grieving. Despite days later suggesting openness to outlawing the bump stock device that allowed Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock to fire at near-automatic rates, the Trump administration has shown no signs of urgency.

Trump, who supported gun control before reversing his position to enter the Republican presidential primary, courted the National Rifle Association's endorsement in 2016, and earlier this year became the first president in three decades to speak at the gun group's annual convention.

__

Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Connecticut PoliticsPoliticsMore>>

  • Trump voices doubt about trophy hunting policy

    Trump voices doubt about trophy hunting policy

    Monday, November 20 2017 6:30 AM EST2017-11-20 11:30:29 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 6:32 AM EST2017-11-20 11:32:33 GMT
    Trump voices doubt about trophy hunting policyTrump voices doubt about trophy hunting policy

    Trump insults Arizona senator as 'Flake(y)' and says he thinks Sen. Jeff Flake won't support GOP tax overhaul.

    Trump insults Arizona senator as 'Flake(y)' and says he thinks Sen. Jeff Flake won't support GOP tax overhaul.

  • Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

    Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

    Monday, November 20 2017 6:26 AM EST2017-11-20 11:26:56 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 6:28 AM EST2017-11-20 11:28:18 GMT
    Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jailTrump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

    After UCLA player's father minimized President Donald Trump's involvement in winning players' release from China, Trump tweets, "I should have left them in jail!".

    After UCLA player's father minimized President Donald Trump's involvement in winning players' release from China, Trump tweets, "I should have left them in jail!".

  • News

    Senators Murphy, Blumenthal help introduce new bill on gun control

    Senators Murphy, Blumenthal help introduce new bill on gun control

    Friday, November 17 2017 6:46 AM EST2017-11-17 11:46:03 GMT
    Senators Murphy, Blumenthal help introduce new bill on gun controlSenators Murphy, Blumenthal help introduce new bill on gun control

    Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal have helped introduce a new bill on gun control.

    Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal have helped introduce a new bill on gun control.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."