Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) on Friday suggested a future Democratic president could confiscate citizens' guns based on the precedent of President Donald Trump's national emergency announcement regarding the border wall.
Nadler, the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, appeared on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" to discuss Trump's announcement earlier in the morning. Trump declared it "necessary" to build the wall on the southern border.
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Host Chris Cuomo asked Nadler if enough Republicans would come out against Trump, prompting him to say, "I think so" and that he believes Republicans are terrified of unintended consequences. He speculated about other hypothetical national emergencies if a Democrat were to win in 2020.
"If the president can declare an emergency today on this nonsense, on this, the Democratic president can decide that, as you mentioned, the 40,000 people a year killed in this country is a crisis. And why don't we take everybody's guns away? Or force everybody to register their guns, or ban all assault rifles, or do all of that without congressional approval?" Nadler said. "This opens up tyranny or dictatorship."
"Now it may be something that the Republicans don't particularly oppose, but tomorrow, with a Democratic president, it could be something they hate," Nadler continued.
Nadler isn't the only Democrat bringing up national emergency hypotheticals that a Democratic president could push in the future.
"Our next President should declare a #NationalEmergency on day 1 to address the existential threat to all life on the planet posed by Climate Change," tweeted freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.).
Our next President should declare a #NationalEmergency on day 1 to address the existential threat to all life on the planet posed by Climate Change.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 15, 2019
Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), who is running for president, also suggested climate change could be a national emergency issue. She is a vocal supporter of the Green New Deal, which is a 14-page economic stimulus plan released last Thursday by self-described democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.).
We should do something about the actual emergencies that plague our nation — like climate change or health care access — not playing politics in order to build a wasteful border wall.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 15, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) also suggested Thursday that Trump was setting a dangerous precedent for Democrats to declare an emergency on gun control.