Donald Trump Open to Gun Law Change, But Says Armed Clubgoers Could Have Stopped Orlando Gunman
"You would have had a very, very different result," he said.
By CANDACE SMITH
June 19, 2016, 2:34 AM
• 4 min read
PHOENIX -- Donald Trump has warmed to potentially changing gun laws to ensure that no one with even "an inclination toward terrorism” can legally purchase guns, while reiterating that the Orlando nightclub massacre might not have ended so tragically had clubgoers been armed.
"If in that club, you had some people, not a lot of people ... but if you had somebody with a gun strapped on to their hip, somebody with a gun strapped on to their ankle and you had bullets going in the opposite direction, right at this animal who did this, you would have had a very, very different result," Trump, who has called himself the protector of the Second Amendment, said Saturday at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.
There was an armed security guard working at Pulse nightclub the night that Omar Mateen came and opened fire, killing 49 people and injuring 53 more before being gunned down by police.
Trump has warmed to some measures of gun control, telling ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl that he would be open to restricting individuals on a terror watch list from buying guns, a stance that puts him in direct opposition from many in his party and the National Rifle Association, which endorsed Trump in May.
"We have to make sure that people that are terrorists or have even an inclination toward terrorism cannot buy weapons, guns," Trump told Karl in an interview to air Sunday on "This Week."
Asked by Karl if his position is that those on the no-fly or terror watch list should not be able to purchase a gun, Trump responded, "I'd like to see that, and I'd like to say it. And it's simpler. It's just simpler."
In a tweet Wednesday, Trump announced he would meet with the NRA to discuss banning those on the terror watch list or no fly list from buying guns.
The NRA responded with a tweet of its own:
But on Saturday, even as Trump stood by his remarks that more guns in the club may have been able to change the outcome, he seemed to contradict himself again.
"This was not about guns. This was about terrorism," he said.
ABC News’ Nicki Rossoll contributed to the report.