Here's A Complete List Of All The Times Obama Said He Wants To Take Away Your Guns

The number might surprise you.

Whenever there's a push for stricter gun laws, President Barack Obama faces criticism for allegedly wanting to take away everyone's guns.

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin made the accusation days after the Orlando massacre, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has claimed in the past that Obama wants to take guns away, saying he “read it in the papers.”

So we rounded up all the times Obama has said he wants to enact legislation to take guns away from everyone:

Obama has repeatedly disputed claims he wants to take guns away from those who use them responsibly. In January, he called the belief part of a "conspiracy."

"Yes, it is fair to call it a conspiracy," Obama said to CNN's Anderson Cooper during a town hall event. "What are you saying? Are you suggesting that the notion that we are creating a plot to take everybody's guns away so that we can impose martial law isn't a conspiracy?"

Just weeks before the Orlando shooting, in which 49 people were killed and 53 others injured at a gay nightclub, Obama repudiated a claim from a gun shop owner that he and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton want to control the use of guns by "the good guys, instead of holding the bad guys accountable."

"First of all, the notion that I or Hillary or Democrats or whoever you want to choose are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true," Obama said. "And I don’t care how many times the NRA says it. I’m about to leave office. There have been more guns sold since I have been president than just about any time in U.S. history. There are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country.

"And at no point have I ever, ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true," Obama continued.

Certainly, many people who argue Obama and Democrats want to take away people's guns probably don't think politicians will explicitly say that. In a New York Times/CBS News poll from October 2015, just after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, 52 percent of respondents said it was at least "somewhat likely" that "stricter gun laws will eventually lead to the federal government trying to take away guns from Americans who legally own them."

Obama has emphasized the success of other countries' strict gun control laws, citing Australia as an example of a place that took political action and helped lower its number of gun deaths.

After a mass shooting in 1996, Australia banned semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pump-­action shotguns; brought in rigid licensing arrangements; and hosted a compulsory gun buyback that led to the destruction of nearly 1 million weapons. While this did not completely disarm the citizens of Australia, there hasn't been a mass shooting there since.

“And at no point have I ever, ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners.”

- President Barack Obama

Obama has pointed to these other countries while making sure to note America's unique legal framework when it comes to gun rights. He has repeatedly cited the Second Amendment in his quest for stricter gun laws, saying America has "historically respected gun rights" but that a background check bill, at the very least, could help save lives.

But even if a gun-grabbing politician decided to trample the Second Amendment, it seems unlikely they’d be able to effectively disarm the American public. Estimates place the total number of civilian guns at 300-400 million. Of those, about 20 million to 30 million are assault-style rifles, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a lobbying group.

In January 2015, Obama defied Congress and pursued long-stalled gun control methods through executive action. The series of proposals was designed to shore up holes in the federal background check system for gun purchases, devote millions of additional dollars to mental health services, and kick-start so-called smart gun technology.

But Congress has done virtually nothing to pass gun control legislation. In April 2013, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a gun-buyer background check bill that was supported by nearly 90 percent of Americans. The Senate failed to advance four gun-related bills on Monday.

Nick Wing contributed to this report.

Before You Go

1981: The Attempted Assassination Of President Ronald Reagan

Pivotal Moments In The U.S. Gun Control Debate

Popular in the Community