Trump: “Take The Guns First, Go Through Due Process Second”

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedPresident Donald Trump is embroiled in another controversy this week after dismissing both gun rights and due process rights in a single sentence when he told a bipartisan group of members that the government should “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”  Trump also said that he was open to the possibility on a ban on certain assault rifles like the AR-15.  The result was that the only people more up in arms than civil libertarians were gun rights advocatesBreitbart News  ran a headline “Trump the Gun Grabber: Cedes Dems’ Wish List— Bump Stocks, Buying Age, ‘Assault Weapons,’ Background Checks . . . ”

Due process, of course, is defined as a process guaranteed before punishment.  In fairness to Trump, police have the right to seize guns in suspected cases of crimes or imminent threats.  However, absent such custodial conditions or exigent circumstances, citizens are entitled to procedural protections before losing their property.  For the NRA and many gun owners, the threat of confiscation without due process by the government is a long-standing fear.

Trump appears to be advocating for expedited removal of guns to protect the public:

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

There are circumstances where police can act under clearly defined standards to seize guns pending judicial review. Those circumstances however would likely involve a court order or evidence of a criminal violation.  For example, if police had probable cause to believe that a student could not possess a gun by law or was mentally unstable, they could remove the gun.  However, the President’s comment came off a bit like the Red Queen’s rule of “Sentence first—verdict afterwards.”

The President’s embracing of the gun control measures clearly shocked some of the Republicans and delighted Feinstein who was described as “literally jumping for joy.”

You can watch Feinstein’s reaction: here

This could be a fascinating and significant moment for Washington.  Clinton was famous for his triangulation strategy that ended up costing many Democrats their seats.  Trump seemed willing to oppose the NRA on these issues and force GOP members into a political vice between the White House and the NRA.

Polls show overwhelming support gun control legislation.

Whatever legislation emerges however it will have to thread the needle in compliance with both due process and the Second Amendment.

88 thoughts on “Trump: “Take The Guns First, Go Through Due Process Second””

  1. AR-15’s are the arms sufficient to oppose a tyrannical and oppressive government.

    That is the sole purpose of the 2nd amendment; to oppose a tyrannical and oppressive government.

    If any type of rifle is covered by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, it is the AR-15.

    The right to keep and bear AR-15’s “…shall not be infringed”.

    Democrats may pursue a properly ratified amendment which repeals the 2nd Amendment.

    In the 2nd Amendment below, please pay separate, singular and particular attention to the 2nd fully independent clause.

    2nd Amendment

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    1. In a match-up between oligarch drones (Enron’s John Arnold linked to community police surveillance of Baltimore) and AR-15’s, the winner will be….?

      1. In a match between disorganized and relatively incompetent Colonists and the might of the formidable and invincible British Empire, the winner will be…?

  2. Raise the gun buying age to 21 already. I am a dyed in the wool pro second amendment guy and that is really no problem at all.

    And fix the crisis in mental health services delivery. There is a major shortage of inpatient resources out there which is an obvious issue in this particular story as much as some of the other hellacious shootings.

    1. Let me read the Constitution and 2nd Amendment again. Yep, “…shall not be infringed.”

      Christopher Wray, the County Sheriff, local Police Chief and High School Principal should have already been removed and prosecuted for gross, criminal negligence, dereliction and incompetence in the wrongful deaths of 17 innocent high school students.

      The shooter gave public notice for his DBA enterprise a sufficient number of times in public media.

      If this were Japan a few short decades ago all of these public officials would have already committed hara-kiri.

  3. Trump’s comment was poorly thought out and shows a lack of support for the Constitution. This will bite not only him but the GOP in general in the midterms.

    You do not solve the problem by ignoring the Constitution.

    I am all for banning bump stocks, forcing states to report to NICS, securing schools, and fixing the gaping holes in our mental health system. All of this has to go through the legislative process.

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