By Anders Hagstrom
Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse had harsh words for President Donald Trump Wednesday after he called for the confiscation of guns without due process.
“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said at a gun control meeting Wednesday. The call induced rage in his base, and Sasse was similarly frustrated.
“Strong leaders don’t automatically agree with the last thing that was said to them. We have the Second Amendment and due process of law for a reason,” Sasse said in a statement. “We’re not ditching any Constitutional protections simply because the last person the president talked to today doesn’t like them.”
Trump’s comments were particularly surprising given their context, spoken just after Vice President Mike Pence called for lawmakers to remember gun owners’ due process rights.
“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 replied, much to the delight of the woman sitting next to him, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
“That’s another system,” the president continued. “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.”
Trump argued that Nikolas Cruz, the school shooter who killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla., had so many issues that it would have taken a “long time” to get him through court.
“You can do what you’re saying but take the guns first, go through due process second,” he concluded.
Pence didn’t challenge Trump’s assertion, instead reiterating that he wanted a system to remove firearms from people with red flags for a “set period of time or longer.”