In 2016, NRA-endorsed Republican candidate Donald Trump won the presidency after many months of insisting that his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton was going to grab your guns.
In February 2018, President Trump publicly called for a subversion of due process, and for the government to “take the guns first.”
During a televised meeting with lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, the president and assembled legislators spent the hour riffing on ideas for securing schools and curtailing gun violence in America. Trump ping-ponged between various policy positions and postures, invariably making unforced interjections that would make his staunchest pro-gun supporters cringe.
When Vice President Mike Pence talked about how those who are a “danger to themselves or others” should have their firearms taken away, but also afforded due process, the president jumped in to one-up Pence.
“Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court,” Trump said, breaking with his own vice president on live TV. “Because that’s another system. 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.”
The president continued, sounding like the caricature of “gun-grabbing” Democrats he’d once warned against: “I like taking the guns early. Like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida… 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.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 28, 2018
White House spokespeople did not immediately respond to questions on whether or not this was now the official position of the Trump White House. However, two administration officials told The Daily Beast that aides were already preparing “clarifications” for future statements or briefings in anticipation of being asked if the president wants to take away people’s guns without due process.