- The Washington Times - Monday, June 13, 2016

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday said more guns could have mitigated the deadly terrorist attack in Orlando early Sunday and that he does not favor banning so-called assault weapons.

Mr. Trump said the gunman in Orlando was actually licensed to carry a gun.

“So he had the right to have a gun. So for all of those people that want to have people go out and get licensed, here’s an example of somebody that went out and got licensed and he was able to get a gun,” Mr. Trump said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“Gun owners even more than ever need to be able to protect themselves,” he said. “And by the way, if you had some guns in that club the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had.”

“If you had guns in that room, even if you had a number of people having ‘em strapped to their ankle or strapped to their waist where bullets could have flown in the other direction right at him, you wouldn’t have had the same kind of a tragedy,” he said.

Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday, killing 49 people and wounding more than 50 others before he was killed by police. He reportedly had an AR-15 rifle and handgun on him at the time of the shooting. Though the FBI had twice investigated him, officials said nothing conclusive came from investigations that would have prevented him from legally purchasing firearms.

SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton calls for reinstituting assault weapons ban after Orlando attack

Earlier on the program, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had called for reinstituting a ban on so-called assault weapons.

Speaking on NBC’s “Today” program, Mr. Trump said there are already “millions” of such guns out there and that people need protection.

“So the bad guys will have the assault rifles, and the people trying to protect themselves will be standing there with a BB gun,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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