President Trump: Take the guns first, go through due process second


On Wednesday, President Donald Trump showed his support for confiscating guns from certain individuals deemed to be dangerous, even if it violates due process rights.

“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,” Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers on school safety and gun violence.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

Trump was responding to comments from Vice President Pence that families and local law enforcement should have more tools to report potentially dangerous individuals with weapons.

“Allow due process so no one’s rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons,” Pence said.

"Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court," Trump responded.

Trump said he wants "one terrific bill" that can address better background checks, arming qualified teachers and school officials, increasing the age limit for certain gun purchases, and finding new ways to keep guns away from mentally ill people and others who should not have them.

All of these ideas have drawn objections from either gun-control or gun-rights interest groups, and from key lawmakers in Congress, including some of Trump's guests at the White House.

While some Republicans objected to new age limits and some Democrats questioned the wisdom of arming teachers, all pledged to work with Trump to try and get something done.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who backs a bill to improve the national instant background check system, said Congress should not go home "empty-handed" in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

"The public demands that we act," Cornyn said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., however, said Tuesday that the Republican majority would focus on law enforcement failures, not tighter gun control. He faulted "a colossal breakdown in the system" for the Parkland shooting, including repeated warnings about the assailant that were not followed up on by the FBI and local authorities.

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