Due Process? Trump Says 'Take the Firearms First, and Then Go to Court'

Susan Jones | March 1, 2018 | 7:10am EST
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President Trump makes a point at a White House meeting on school safety and gun control. (Photo: C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) - President Trump took an oath to uphold the Constitution, but on Wednesday he appeared to undermine the Fifth Amendment, which says no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."

It happened during a bipartisan meeting on gun control at the White House. While discussing "gun violence restraining orders, Vice President Mike Pence endorsed the ability of law enforcement officers to go to court, obtain an order, then confiscate weapons belonging to people deemed to be dangerous. "Allow due process so that no one's rights are trampled," Pence said.


Trump, cutting in, said:

Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court. 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 -- 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.

President Trump not only dismissed due process, he appeared to favor restrictions on the Second Amendment, as advocated by Democrats.

"Hey, look, I'm the biggest fan of the Second Amendment," the president said at the beginning of the meeting. "Many of you are. I'm a big fan of the NRA. But -- I've met -- I had lunch with them, with Wayne and Chris and David, on Sunday, and said, 'It's time. I'm going to stop this nonsense. It's time.'"

Trump endorsed the hardening of school buildings, but not so hard that police responding to an incident would have to "send a tractor through the walls."

He said he wants one big comprehensive, bipartisan bill that "everybody could support, as opposed to, you know, 15 bills."

He told gun control activist Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that he will "take a look" at her legislation banning "assault weapons." ("Dianne, you have some very good ideas," the president told her later.)

He told Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), another gun control advocate, that he's open to a bill requiring universal background checks.

He seemed to endorse a minimum age of 21 for buying any firearm.

He told Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a shooting survivor, that concealed carry reciprocity should pass as a separate bill, rather than being combined with other gun control measures.

And he boasted that the NRA has no particular power over him: "The reason I had lunch with the NRA on Sunday -- and I told them. I said, 'You've got to come over.' I said, 'Fellows, we got to do something.' And they do have great power. I agree with that. They have great power over you people. They have less power over me. I don't need it. I don't -- what do I need?

"But they -- but I tell you, they are well meaning. And I said to them, very nice -- I said, 'Fellows, we got to do something. We can't keep restricting and we can't keep -- we have to do what's right...'"

"Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. You can't be petrified. They want to do what's right, and they're going to do what's right. I really believe that. I think it was a very good lunch."

At the end of the session, Trump summed up by asking lawmakers on both sides of the gun issue to "all get together" to produce "one great piece of legislation."

"We want to pass something great," Trump said. "And, to me, something great has to be where you stop it from happening. And I think there's only one way."

Trump continued:

We also want things that can be approved. You have to look at the age of 21 for certain types of weapons. I mean, some people aren't going to like that, but you're going to have to look at that very seriously.

And I think we're going to have a vote. I think it's going to be a very successful vote. And I will sign it. And I will call whoever you want me to if I like what you're doing. And I think I like what you're doing already.

But you could add to it. But you have to be very, very powerful on background checks. Don't be shy. Very strong on mentally ill -- you have to be very, very strong on that.

And don't worry about bump stock. We're getting rid of it. We're -- it will be -- I mean, you don't have to complicate the bill by adding another two paragraphs. We're getting rid of it. I'll do that myself, because I'm able to. Fortunately, we're able to do that without going through Congress.

So if the four of you (Sens. Manchin, Toomey, Cornyn, Murphy) could work together and come up with some beautiful foundation, add and subtract to it, put it for a vote, let's get it done. That's what we have to do.

When Sen. Feinstein asked Trump about "weapons of war easily available on our streets," Trump told he to "discuss it with everybody."

"Joe and Pat -- you're going to have to discuss that. You'll sit down with Dianne and everybody else and you'll come up with something. And I think it -- I really believe it has to be very strong.

"I'd rather have you come down on the strong side, instead of the weak side. The weak side would be much easier. I'd rather have you come up with a strong, strong bill, and really strong on background checks."

On Thursday morning, Trump tweeted: "Many ideas, some good & some not so good, emerged from our bipartisan meeting on school safety yesterday at the White House. Background Checks a big part of conversation. Gun free zones are proven targets of killers. After many years, a Bill should emerge. Respect 2nd Amendment!"

Also See:
NRA Spokeswoman: 'Due Process Must Be Respected'


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