Trump on Confiscating Guns From Dangerous People: 'Take the Guns First,' 'Due Process Second'

February 28, 2018

President Donald Trump on Wednesday told a bipartisan group of congressmen at the White House that law enforcement should be able to confiscate firearms without going through due process.

Trump held the bipartisan meeting to focus on school safety in the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Fla., two weeks ago, and he emphasized the need for Congress to get something done. Rep. John Rutherford (R., Fla.) brought up the prospect of risk-protection orders providing a process by which law enforcement could seize firearms in certain circumstances, and Vice President Mike Pence expanded on the measure.

Pence said such measures can "give families and give local law enforcement additional tools if an individual is reported to be a potential danger to themselves or others."

"Allow due process so no one’s rights are trampled," Pence added. "The ability to go to court, obtain an order, and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons in the possession of that individual—"

"Or, Mike, take the firearms first and then go to court," Trump interjected. "Because a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get the due process procedures—I like taking the guns early."

"Like in this crazy man’s case, that just took place in Florida, he had a lot of firearms, they saw everything—to go to court would have taken a long time, so you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second," he added, while Pence nodded.

Pence did not contradict the president, and instead, continued discussing the importance of stopping shootings.

"We think about the tragedy in Sandy Hook: Adam Lanza’s mother who spoke to law enforcement, spoke to local officials she was concerned over and over again," Pence said. "I know our colleagues from Connecticut lived it and saw it."

Pence advocated law enforcement "be able to take action to remove those weapons for either a set period of time or longer to make sure that person can’t be a threat."

"I like that," Trump replied.