During a press conference in South Korea on Tuesday, President Donald Trump told a reporter that stricter gun laws in Texas would have been ineffective in stopping Devin Kelley and could have impeded the bystander who used his rifle to confront him on Sunday.
When NBC's Ali Vitali asked Trump about gun control on Tuesday, the president seemed to balk at the question, which he suggested came too soon after Sunday's shooting and was out of place for a venue focused on the administration's approach to east Asia.
Trump eventually pushed back on Vitali's suggestion that his administration could pursue extreme vetting in gun sales as it did with his travel ban.
“If you did what you're suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago,” Trump said.
Sunday's shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, left 26 people dead, but according to Trump, it could have been worse if an NRA member weren't present to confront the shooter with a gun.
According to 40/29 News, Stephen Willeford, a former NRA instructor, shot and pursued Kelley as he left the scene of his massacre.
Despite Kelley's previous legal troubles, including serving time in military prison for assaulting his ex-wife, he was able to obtain the AR-556 rifle, which he used to gun down churchgoers on Sunday.
The U.S. Air Force reportedly violated the Pentagon's rules by failing to tell the FBI of Kelley's criminal history. It's unclear whether the Air Force's omission allowed Kelley to obtain the firearm.