Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro Calls Out GOP Congressman For Suggesting Trump Wants to Take People's Guns Away

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro called out a Republican congressman Saturday night after he suggested that the Trump administration was attempting to take guns away from Americans.

"The president has said that we need intelligent background checks, and in fact congressman, I spoke with the president just a few hours ago when he said that he is committed to going forward with some kind of background checks because, you know, this is happening far too often," Pirro said, arguing that there are "issues that need to be confronted" in an interview with GOP Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida.

Earlier this month, mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left more than 30 people dead and dozens more wounded. The attacks have lead to a renewed national debate on gun policy reform.

"I'm here in Australia, congressman, they don't have problems like this," Piro continued. "This is starting to be, unfortunately, a uniquely American situation."

She qualified her statement by saying "I am a gun owner and strong Second Amendment person."

Gaetz then equated enhanced background checks with the government taking away guns from law-abiding citizens.

"Nobody would suggest in the United States we would want Australia's solution. They confiscated all the guns," Gaetz said. "You know who did what Australia did? Venezuela," he added.

Jeanine Pirro
Jeanine Pirro makes remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 23, 2017 MIKE THEILER/AFP

Pirro then pushed back, pointing out that Gaetz was mischaracterizing what Trump and others like herself were suggesting.

"Congressman, nobody is talking about taking away people's guns. The United States Supreme Court made it clear we have the right to have these guns for our own personal protection," she said. "No one is talking about taking our guns away."

Following a 1996 mass shooting that left 35 people dead, the Australian parliament passed sweeping gun reforms, banning certain types of firearms, including shotguns and automatic and semi-automatic rifles. The regulations also established a centralized registry of gun owners and made purchasing a gun more rigorous process.

As many automatic and semi-automatic weapons were already in circulation, the Australian government implemented a mandatory buy-back program: In total, about 650,000 weapons were bought back by the government.

As a result of the policy changes, Australia has seen a 57 percent decline in suicide and a 42 percent drop in the firearm homicide rate, according to a report from Harvard University.

In a White House press briefing on Friday, President Trump pressed for enhanced background checks, suggesting there was bipartisan support for "common-sense" reform.

"I can tell you, there's tremendous goodwill for meaningful... background checks so that sick and demented people don't carry around guns," he told reporters. "It's a big mental illness problem. The gun doesn't pull the trigger—a mind, a sick mind pulls the trigger, and we want to take that out of the equation... We have tremendous support for common-sense background checks."

The Trump administration has also called for expanding red flag laws that would make it easier for law enforcement officers to remove guns from individuals believed to be a threat.

Currently, federal law requires all licensed firearms dealers to perform background check on prospective buyers, with some states having implemented more restrictive procedures. However, there are some glaring loopholes, including that private gun sellers are not required to run checks.