Matthew Brown, USA TODAY
Published 10:00 p.m. ET Sept. 17, 2020
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The claim: Kamala Harris said “Take the guns first. Go through due process second, I like taking the guns early.”
A viral meme shared on Facebook falsely attributes a quote from President Donald Trump to Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris.
Harris never said the quote. In fact, the comments were made by Trump in 2018.
Donald Trump’s gun proposals
In the weeks after a mass shooter killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the nation saw renewed calls for gun control.
On Feb. 28, two weeks after the shooting, Trump offered that law enforcement should confiscate guns from people who might commit acts of violence without due process beforehand.
“By the time you go to court it takes so long to get the due process procedures,” Trump said.
“I like taking guns away early,” he said. “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
The president also asserted that many Republicans were “petrified” of the NRA and called on lawmakers to produce a “comprehensive” gun bill while also dousing prospects for a GOP-backed concealed-carry proposal as part of a broader legislative package to deal with gun violence.
“We must harden our schools against attack,” Trump said, while also calling for other steps to end the “senseless violence” that has taken lives in classrooms, nightclubs and workplaces across the country.
“We can’t wait and play games and nothing gets done,” he emphasized.
Kamala Harris on guns
Harris, the former California attorney general, has been an advocate of stricter gun laws but has not said that due process should be circumvented in arresting criminals or taking guns from individuals under so-called red flag laws.
Some viral memes have inaccurately claimed that Harris would use law enforcement to confiscate weapons based on comments she made while a presidential candidate at a CNN town hall in April 2019.
“Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws,” Harris said at the event. “And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action.”
Her proposed orders would create stronger regulations around gun manufacturers and close gun purchasing loopholes, according to the New York Times.
The proposed executive orders would not have targeted individual gun owners. Since becoming Joe Biden’s running mate, Harris has made no comments supporting the previously proposed executive action, which Biden has not said he supports.
Our rating: False
An actual Feb. 2018 quote from President Donald Trump was falsely attributed to Sen. Kamala Harris in the claim. There is no evidence that Harris has ever said anything in the spirit of the Trump quote. We rate this claim FALSE, based on our research.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, Feb. 15, 2018, ‘I’m sick to my stomach’: 17 dead in Florida high school shooting; former student in custody
- USA TODAY, Feb. 28, 2018, Trump says take guns first and worry about ‘due process second’ in White House gun meeting
- CNBC on YouTube, March 1, 2018, President Donald Trump Says Take Guns ‘Early’ Without Due Process
- USA TODAY, Aug. 15, 2020, Fact check: Kamala Harris didn’t say she’d send police to take firearms via executive order
- USA TODAY, April 13, 2019, Kamala Harris: ‘I will take executive action’ on gun control if I am elected president
- New York Times, April 22, 2019, Kamala Harris Proposes Executive Orders on Gun Control
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