There were laws on the books that could have prevented alleged Texas church shooter Devin Patrick Kelley from buying guns, but the system failed, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Laura Ingraham on Monday.
Ryan noted that Kelley was guilty of domestic abuse, and was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force.
"[Kelley] was not supposed to get a gun in the first place," Ryan said, in an exclusive interview on "The Ingraham Angle" on Fox News. "That's what is frustrating. The laws are on the books. You have to execute the law."
Ingraham noted that Kelley, dead at the age of 26, was not entered into a federal database by the U.S. Air Force. Kelley bought four guns before killing 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday.
"The law is on the books to prevent a person like this from getting a gun," said Ryan. "That didn't happen. And we have got to get to the bottom of why that did not happen. And yes, there are a lot of questions the Air Force has to answer on that."
Ryan said not everyone separated from the military on a bad conduct charge should be banned from owning a gun, but the law spells out who should be banned. Domestic abuse is also spelled out in the law as revoking the right to gun ownership, he said.
The House speaker's call for prayers after the Sutherland Springs massacre led to nasty attacks on him from celebrities such as actor Wil Wheaton.
"The murdered victims were in a church," tweeted Wheaton on Sunday afternoon. "If prayers did anything, they'd still be alive, you worthless sack of sh**."
Ingraham asked about Wheaton's attack, which seemed to disparage not just Ryan, but all people of faith.
"It's disappointing," said Ryan. "It's sad. This is what you'll get from the far secular Left. People who do not have faith don't understand faith, I guess I would have to say. The right thing to do is pray in moments like this, because ... prayer works. I know you believe that, and I believe that. When you hear the secular Left doing this thing, it's no wonder you have so much polarization and disunity in this country."
Ryan said the usual arguments are made after such a tragedy in Texas, one aimed at chipping away at the Second Amendment right to own a firearm.
"If you are trying to exploit a tragedy to try to infringe on law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights, no, we don't want to do that," he said.
Last Modified: November 7, 2017, 10:14 am