Fact check: Trump, not Biden, made comment about taking guns without due process

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The claim: Joe Biden said to ‘take the guns first’ and ‘go through due process second’

Gun control has long been a contentious topic in America. But posts on social media claim some politicians have suggested particularly extreme measures.

“This is the Joe Biden quote that makes me the most angry: ‘Take the guns first. Go through due process second, I like taking the guns early,’” an Oct. 5 Facebook post reads. “Good thing the NRA would never endorse anyone who would say something like that.”

The post is a screenshot of what appears to be a Facebook comment made by the former vice presidential pick for the Libertarian ticket Spike Cohen. Cohen’s comment received nearly 700 likes.

But the gun control quote didn't come from Biden. Former President Donald Trump suggested the strategy in 2018 after a fatal school shooting.

Cohen told USA TODAY the post was satire aimed at the National Rifle Association.

"That was a joke aimed at the NRA for being such hypocrites," he said. "Donald Trump is the one who said that quote, and I was making fun of the fact that the NRA supported him, even though he was so strongly in favor of seizing guns from people, and is now fighting against Biden, who is not really any worse than Trump was on gun rights."

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook group that shared the post.

Trump made quote in 2018

The quote is real, but Biden didn’t say it.

National debate about gun control reignited in the wake of the Valentine’s Day 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 14 students and three staff members. Two weeks after the shooting, a White House meeting aimed at hashing out responsive legislation was held.

More: Trump says take guns first and worry about 'due process second' in White House gun meeting

At one point during the meeting, then-Vice President Mike Pence explained a potential legislative option where states would be given more resources to recognize potentially dangerous individuals and take them to court to confiscate their weapons. Trump jumped in and suggested skipping over the courts. Here’s the full quote, with the key sections highlighted:

“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.

The quote has been falsely attributed to other Democrat politicians on social media, as well, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Biden administration on gun control

In April, the White House announced six first steps the Biden administration made toward addressing gun violence in America.

More: Fact check: False meme attributes Trump quote about taking guns and due process to Kamala Harris

Among the actions laid out by the administration to curb gun violence were directing the Justice Department to issue proposed rules that would stop the proliferation of "ghost guns" (guns that can't be traced), publish model "red flag" legislation for states and change the marketing of accessories described as "stabilizing braces" to more clearly express they effectively make a pistol a short-barreled rifle, which is subject to the National Firearms Act's requirements, according to the White House fact sheet.

In June, the White House announced its strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime, which includes stemming the flow of firearms and giving law enforcement more resources to take on gun violence.

Our rating: Satire

We rate SATIRE the claim that Biden said to “take the guns first” and “go through due process second.” Trump actually suggested the strategy in 2018 after a fatal school shooting, an irony the original poster was highlighting to criticize NRA support of Trump.

Our fact check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Trump made comment about taking guns without due process

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