Country Star On Stage During Las Vegas Massacre: ‘It’s Too Easy To Get Guns’

performs onstage for The Amazon Music & CRS 2018 day 1 monday night showcase featuring Radio PD Ink Awards on February 5, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images North America

Country music star Jason Aldean made the case for new gun laws in an interview with the Associated Press published Monday.

“It’s too easy to get guns, first and foremost,” Aldean told AP.

“When you can walk in somewhere and you can get one in 5 minutes, do a background check that takes 5 minutes, like how in-depth is that background check?” he continued. “Those are the issues I have. It’s not necessarily the guns themselves or that I don’t think people should have guns. I have a lot of them.”

Aldean and his band were on stage at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in October when Stephen Paddock began his shooting spree, killing 58 and injuring hundreds.

Paddock legally purchased 33 guns in the year leading up to the shooting, at least 12 of which were semi-automatic rifles outfitted legally with bump stocks, which allow the rifles to mimic the firing rate of fully automatic weapons. Federal law does not require gun stores to report the purchase of multiple rifles, though it does require reporting multiple handgun purchases.

The musician told AP that in debates over gun control, “[n]obody is looking at what the actual issue is and really how to come to an agreement and make a smart decision.”

“It’s a no-win situation,” he added separately, referring to the gun control debate. “I think no matter what you say, whether you’re for gun control or not, I mean, you’re setting yourself up to be crucified in the public eye or in the media.”

The singer also said he identified with the survivors of the February mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, some of whom have led a sustained effort to advocate for new gun laws.

“Unless anybody has witnessed anything like that or been a part of it, it’s really hard for people to really understand where you’re coming from on that stuff,” Aldean said. “It’s like the kids from the school in Florida, that shooting. I get it, man. I understand how they are feeling.”

H/t The Hill.

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