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Updated On: Sunday, November 19 2017

Trump: Stricter US Gun Laws Would Not Have Stopped Texas Massacre

Content by: Voice of America

WASHINGTON —

U.S. President Donald Trump says stricter gun laws in the country would not have prevented a gunman from killing 26 people in a massacre at a Texas church and possibly would have kept a bystander from confronting the shooter.

Trump, in South Korea on a five-nation Asian trip, said Tuesday if there were increased vetting of gun buyers in the United States "you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck go out and shoot him, and hit him and neutralize him.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (not pictured) at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 7, 2017.U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (not pictured) at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 7, 2017.

Asked if he was considering any new gun control policies in the aftermath of the second major mass killing in the U.S. in five weeks, Trump said, "I mean, you look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation, is Chicago, and Chicago is a disaster. It's a total disaster. Just remember, if this man did not have a gun or rifle, you'd be talking about a much worse situation in the great state of Texas.”

"And I can only say this: If he did not have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead," Trump said. "So that is the way I feel about it. Not going to help."

Air Force probe

Trump made his remarks as the U.S. Air Force investigates why the 2012 domestic violence conviction of the shooter, 26-year-old Devin Kelley, was not properly entered into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's database that would have stopped him from legally buying the rifle he used in Sunday's attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Emergency personnel respond to a fatal shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Nov. 5, 2017.Emergency personnel respond to a fatal shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Nov. 5, 2017.

The Air Force had court-martialed Kelley for beating his wife and stepson. He was convicted, sentenced to 12 months in prison, discharged from the military for bad conduct and handed a reduction in rank.

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