President Donald Trump says there is no reason to amend firearms legislation in the United States following the mass shooting at a Texas church over the weekend.
“If the gunman had not been stopped by other people who were also armed, things could have been much worse,’’ the president told journalists in Seoul during his five-country Asian trip on Tuesday.
Trump suggested that hundreds more could have been killed as opposed to the 26 who died.
The gunman was wounded by a neighbour as he left the church and was later found dead in his vehicle.
Police are reported to be working from the assumption that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Trump reacted with irritation to a question from U.S journalists on whether stringent checks, or “extreme vetting’’ of immigrants to the U.S should not also be applied to those buying firearms.
The president indicated that he believed discussing a domestic issue was inappropriate “in the heart of South Korea.”
On Monday, the U.S Air Force said that a domestic violence conviction for the suspect, Devin Kelley, may not have been entered into a national database.
In 2012, Kelley, a licensed unarmed security guard and former Air Force airman, was court martialled and convicted of domestic violence against his wife and step-son, and he received a bad conduct discharge.
After that conviction, Kelley would have been prohibited under federal law from buying or possessing firearms.
Earlier, in Japan, Trump called the shooting a “mental health problem at the highest level’’. (dpa/NAN)