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Fact check: Kamala Harris's proposed executive order on gun control misrepresented

Posts on social media make the claim that Senator Kamala Harris, recently chosen to be the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, proposed an executive order to enact gun control legislation that would entail law enforcement “show[ing] up at your door.” This claim is false, since it attributes a fictitious quote to Harris and misrepresents her public remarks on the matter.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The full text of the posts is as follows: “If elected & you don’t surrender your guns, I will sign an executive order & the police will show up at your door. – Kamala Harris.” Examples of the claim are visible here , here and here .

Reuters found no examples of Harris ever saying this direct quote. The quote is likely a misinterpretation of public remarks she has made about executive orders she would take regarding gun safety laws.

APRIL 2019

On April 22, 2019 Harris stated that, if elected President, she would give lawmakers in Congress 100 days to pass “reasonable gun safety laws,” during a CNN Town Hall in Manchester, New Hampshire ( here ). “If they fail to do it,” Harris continued, “then I will take executive action.”

Specifically, Harris outlined a proposal to put in place requirements for “anyone who sells more than five guns a year” to conduct background checks and for unlawful gun dealers to face penalties from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

A third stipulation of the order would prohibit “fugitives from justice” to purchase a weapon, or “any kind of weapon.” During these remarks, Harris made no mention of the role of law enforcement in gun safety and gun control measures.

Her answer at this Town Hall was reflected on her website at that time, as a Democratic hopeful for the 2020 election bit.ly/2YfJpNt . Biden’s gun safety plan is outlined on his website, bit.ly/2E1040H . More information on Harris’ Town Hall remarks is visible here .

AUGUST 2019

While addressing union members at a forum hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Las Vegas, Nevada in August 2019, Harris was asked by the conservative outlet The Washington Examiner if any of her proposals for a “process of a ban in certain kind of guns” would involve creating a database of gun-owners or a more active role by law enforcement ( here ).

Harris responded by talking about her experience as California Attorney General (AG), when her office “put resources into allowing law enforcement to actually knock on the doors of people who were on two lists.” She explained this criteria as: “A list where they had been found by a court to be a danger to themselves and others, and were on a list where they were precluded and prohibited from owning a gun because of a conviction that prohibited that ownership.”

The entries of these lists, Harris said, were combined and then law enforcement was sent out “to take those guns.” ( here ). Harris clarified that it was necessary to separate “legal good ownership” from other gun-related issues, including the ownership of assault weapons.

The Senator did not specifically state that these measures implemented as California AG would be a part of her executive action on gun control, if elected President.

VERDICT

False. Kamala Harris did not say she would sign an executive order allowing police to show up at people’s houses to take their guns if they did not “surrender” them voluntarily.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here

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