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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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>>

  • Republican gubernatorial candidates take part in debate

    Republican gubernatorial candidates take part in debate

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 8:22 PM EDT2018-07-19 00:22:03 GMT
    Four of five Republican candidates for Connecticut governor took part in a debate Wednesday at Fairfield University.Four of five Republican candidates for Connecticut governor took part in a debate Wednesday at Fairfield University.
    Four of five Republican candidates for Connecticut governor took part in a debate Wednesday at Fairfield University.Four of five Republican candidates for Connecticut governor took part in a debate Wednesday at Fairfield University.

    Four of five Republican candidates for Connecticut governor took part in a debate Wednesday at Fairfield University.

    Four of five Republican candidates for Connecticut governor took part in a debate Wednesday at Fairfield University.

  • Himes to endorse Matt Blumenthal in 147th District race

    Himes to endorse Matt Blumenthal in 147th District race

    Saturday, July 14 2018 9:56 AM EDT2018-07-14 13:56:11 GMT
    A Democratic candidate for State Representative is receiving some major support.A Democratic candidate for State Representative is receiving some major support.

    A Democratic candidate for State Representative is receiving some major support. 

    A Democratic candidate for State Representative is receiving some major support. 

  • 12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US election

    12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US election

    Friday, July 13 2018 12:25 PM EDT2018-07-13 16:25:23 GMT
    Friday, July 13 2018 3:04 PM EDT2018-07-13 19:04:56 GMT
    12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US election12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US election

    The Justice Department announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.

    The Justice Department announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account 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."