Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) claimed that if people could bring their guns to the movies, they could have prevented the movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, Thursday evening.
"These concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country -- who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms -- to carry them," he told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. “I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there's as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette."
Such a provision “makes a lot of sense” under the Second Amendment, the 2016 presidential hopeful said.
When Tapper asked if that solution would be more effective than strengthening gun control laws, Perry pushed argued that the problem in Lafayette and the recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, is a lack of enforcement.
“We need to enforce the laws that are on the books,” he said. “Somebody didn't do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws that are on the books."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) similarly called for better enforcement of gun laws, stressing that John Russell Houser, the shooter who had a history of mental illness, should not have been able to obtain a gun.
"Every time this happens, it seems like the person has a history of mental illness. We need to make sure the systems we have in place actually work," he said on CBS’ "Face the Nation." “We need to make sure that background system is working. Absolutely, in this instance, this man never should have been able to buy a gun."
Houser legally purchased the gun used Thursday at a pawn shop in Alabama last year, according to law enforcement officials. He had previously been denied a pistol due to a prior arrest and reports of domestic violence.