Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump answers a question during the presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (AP)

"We had to take the guns away": NRA's debate "fact-check" curiously silent on Donald Trump's gun grabbing

Trump endorsed "no fly, no buy" gun restrictions and backed unconstitutional stop-and-frisk plan but the NRA is mum

Sophia Tesfaye
September 27, 2016 7:18PM (UTC)

In an effort to prop up its preferred candidate during the first general election presidential debate, the National Rifle Association offered a real-time "fact-check" of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's every utterance on the issue of guns. Yet the powerful gun lobby was noticeably silent after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump echoed many of the same "gun-grabbing" proposals during Monday's debate.

“We have to look very strongly at no-fly lists," Trump said, cosigning onto Clinton's proposal to prevent people deemed too great a threat to fly on planes from purchasing a firearm. "I tend to agree with that." The NRA's so-called fact-check, however, made no mention of Trump's "no fly, no buy" stance:


In its rush to attack Clinton, the NRA's social-media team even went against right-wing orthodoxy to reveal a fact: Violent crime in America has gone down significantly in recent years.

Yet Trump also pushed a debunked myth at the debate that even the NRA won't peddle: Violent crime is up in America. He got called out for it by Clinton, who pointed out that murders fell 21 percent in New York City in the first quarter of 2016, to a low called “historic” by city officials.

"We have to bring back law and order," Trump insisted during the portion of the debate dedicated to race relations in the U.S. "Now, whether or not in a place like Chicago you do stop-and-frisk, which worked very well — Mayor Giuliani is here; it worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate very down. But you take the guns away from criminals who shouldn't be having it."


Moderator Lester Holt pointed out to Trump, "Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic men."

Trump responded, "No, you're wrong," and added, "it went before a judge who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her and our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. It would have won an appeal," he continued, demonstrating a basic misunderstanding of judicial review.

"The argument is that it's a form of racial profiling," Holt followed up.


Trump continued, "The argument is that we have to take the guns away from these people that have them and that are bad people that shouldn't have them. These are felons, these are people that are bad people."

Trump was repeating a line that he has come to favor on the campaign trail during his so-called outreach attempt to African-American voters.


“If they see a person possibly with a gun or they think may have a gun, they will see the person and they’ll look and they’ll take the gun away,” Trump said last Thursday on Fox News, laying out his vision to pry guns out of black and brown Americans' hands.

Again, the NRA remained curiously silent on Trump's remarks and instead attacked Clinton during this exchange:


The gun lobby's one-way "fact-check" of the debate continued to focus on Clinton throughout the night:

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •