Trump Pentagon nominee: It is 'insane' that civilians can buy semiautomatic assault rifles
Man carries AR-15. Image via Shutterstock.

Dr. Dean Winslow, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to work as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, told senators at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday that he thought it was "insane" that American civilians are allowed to buy semiautomatic assault rifles like the one used by Texas church killer Devin Kelley earlier this week.


As Vox reports, Winslow staked out a position on semiautomatic assault rifles that is markedly different from the position held by Trump and many of his fellow Republicans.

"I’d also like to, and I may get in trouble with other members of the committee, just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semiautomatic assault rifle like an AR-15," Winslow said when asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) whether Kelley should have been given a dishonorable discharge from the Air Force over charges that he had committed domestic abuse.

Winslow, who is a retired United States Air Force colonel, wouldn't say if Kelley should have been given a dishonorable discharge, but he did acknowledge that the Air Force made a mistake when it failed to report his past criminal record, which could have prevented him from obtaining firearms.