SEOUL, South Korea — President Donald Trump dismissed questions Tuesday about if he'd pursue the same kind of "extreme vetting" for would-be gun owners.
When asked by NBC News about gun control in the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Texas church over the weekend, Trump said it wasn't the right place or time to ask the question before explaining that such measures would have made "no difference" on Sunday.
"You’re bringing up a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed too much right now," he said during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump, who advocated for stricter vetting policies in the hours after a terror attack on New York City last week, said "we could let a little time go by" before talking about gun control, "but it's okay if you feel that that's an appropriate question, even though we're in the heart of South Korea."
The president went on to applaud "that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck" and shot the killer.
"If he didn't have a gun," Trump alleged, "instead of having 26 dead, you would've had hundreds more dead. So that's the way I feel about it. Not gonna help."
Pressed once more on if he would consider gun control measures broadly, he pivoted to the continued gun deaths in tough-on-guns Chicago as an example that legislating the problem would not fix it. "Chicago is a disaster," he said, "a total disaster."
It's the second time since arriving in Asia that the president has been pressed on gun measures.
Asked about it in Tokyo on Monday, Trump deemed the shooting at a Texas church not "a guns situation" but instead "a mental health problem at the highest level."
Twenty-six people were killed Sunday when Devin Kelley opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A Glock and a Ruger handgun were discovered inside a Ford Expedition where Kelley's body was found after a chase following the shooting, authorities said, and a Ruger AR-556 rifle was recovered at the church.
The shooter shouldn't have been able to purchase a gun legally, but an Air Force officer failed to enter Kelley's domestic violence court-martial into a national database, the Air Force said Monday. Air Force brass ordered a full review of how the court-martial was handled in 2012, the Air Force said.