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Trump: 'Hundreds more' would have died in Texas shooting if there was more vetting for gun buyers

Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in Political News

SEOUL, South Korea -- President Donald Trump said that even with tighter vetting of gun buyers, "there would have been no difference" for those killed in the mass shooting at a South Texas church on Sunday.

Trump made the comments during a news conference in Seoul with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in response to a question about why his promised "extreme vetting" for visa applicants shouldn't also be applied to gun purchases.

"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 happened to have a gun in his truck and shoot him, and hit him and neutralize him," Trump said, referring to a neighbor who chased down the gunman.

"Instead of having 26 dead, he would've had hundreds more dead," he said.

Trump seemed to chafe at being asked about gun policy so soon after the deadly rampage that killed 26 people on Sunday and appeared annoyed the topic was brought up while he was in South Korea building tougher measures against the North Korean nuclear program.

Trump pointed to the high murder rate in Chicago, which has limits on gun sales, as an example of why vetting gun purchases might not prevent shootings. Chicago is "a disaster, a total disaster," Trump said.

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