President Donald Trump didn’t have a lot of Second Amendment street cred when he first threw his hat into the presidential ring. Living in New York City, it’s not like he had a lot of exposure to firearms through the years, though I don’t doubt he could easily have been one of the fortunate few to get a carry permit in the Big Apple.
As he campaigned, he kind of had to convince gun folks that he was on their side.
For the most part, he managed well enough. However, a comment made on Wednesday is probably making some previous supporters question their allegiance (emphasis mine).
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.”
I’m sorry, but no.
Taking an individual’s firearms without due process taking place first is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, for one thing.
For another, this is a slippery slope with a downside that I’m sure the president hasn’t considered. If the process exists to take someone’s weapons away without due process until after the fact, then we have the potential for someone to use the system to disarm their victim. This could be the government or an attacker who knows the system fairly well. It doesn’t matter.
More than anything, however, is the fact that this is a clear violation of people’s sacred and protected rights, all so politicians can make people feel warm and tingly.
Now, to be fair, this wasn’t exactly presented as Plan “A” by any stretch of the imagination. It’s an alternative that President Trump apparently just threw out there off the cuff, which means it’s likely it’ll never happen and his staff will talk him out of it, if they haven’t already.
That said, the fact that the president even thought about that is bound to alarm many gun owners. If nothing else, it does suggest that President Donald Trump isn’t the friend of gun owners that many had hoped.