Trump says tougher gun laws not answer after Texas church shooting


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 Tuesday at a news conference in South Korea 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 after 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 after the Oct. 31 truck attack in New York. 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, after 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 when entering the Republican presidential primary race, courted the National Rifle Association’s endorsement in 2016. Earlier this year, he became the first president in three decades to speak at the gun group’s annual convention.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Update: Suspect accused of killing trooper captured in Waller County
Update: Suspect accused of killing trooper captured in Waller County

A man accused of killing a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper on Thanksgiving was taken into custody Thursday evening after gunfire in Waller County, west of Houston, authorities said. Texas DPS said via Twitter that the trooper stopped a Chevrolet Malibu on Interstate 45 in Freestone County, east of Waco, around 3:45 p.m. After talking to the...
Man detains car burglary suspect with fire poker until police arrived
Man detains car burglary suspect with fire poker until police arrived

A North Austin resident subdued a man he reportedly found breaking into his car, utilizing a fire poker to detain the suspect until Austin police arrived early Tuesday morning, according to a police report. From his backyard in the 8400 block of Stillwood Lane, the man could hear someone opening the door to his BMW around 2 a.m. The resident confronted...
POLICE: Woman dons wig, tries to cash forged check in North Austin
POLICE: Woman dons wig, tries to cash forged check in North Austin

Police arrested two women who twice tried to cash a forged check for $3,300 at a Wells Fargo branch in North Austin when one of the women tried to fool bank employees by wearing a wig in an attempt to look more like the person pictured on a stolen ID, according to Austin police reports. Theresa Frazier, 47, and Regan Reichenau, 22, first attempted...
Thanksgiving feasts around the state cater to refugees, homeless
Thanksgiving feasts around the state cater to refugees, homeless

Seven years ago, Samira Page and a small group of fellow refugees sat around her table where the guests experienced their first traditional American Thanksgiving Day feast. This year, the Iranian native invited about 400 refugees for the meal that has outgrown her home and become an annual event. “For some of these people, this is their first...
Rep. Barton says he’ll go mum over nude photo, citing investigation
Rep. Barton says he’ll go mum over nude photo, citing investigation

Suggesting he’s a victim of revenge porn from a jilted lover, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, says he plans to go silent about the release of a nude photo of him online because police are investigating the disclosure as a possible crime against him. Authorities have not confirmed an investigation. The 68-year-old Barton, who joined the House in...
More Stories