Fact Check

Hillary's Recovered E-Mails Reveal Republican Gun Grab Plan

An article about recovered e-mails belonging to Hillary Clinton revealing plans for a government "gun grab" was a thinly-disguised joke about Republican voter turnout on Election Day.

Published May 20, 2016

Recovered e-mails belonging to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton have revealed plans to seize guns from Republicans on 8 November 2016.

On 19 May 2016, the web site NewsClub published an article headlined "Found in Hillary’s Recovered E-mails: Obama Plan to Seize Republican Guns!" that purportedly revealed a furtive plot by the Obama administration to seize guns belonging to members and supporters of the Republican Party:

Fox News sources have revealed an Obama administration plot to confiscate all guns owned by citizens on record as belonging to or sympathetic to the Republican party.

Under the guise of combating domestic terrorism agents from ATF, DHS, FBI and other government troops have been ordered to kick in doors to confiscate weapons and ammunition from homes where the residents have registered as Republicans or voted for Republican candidates in any election.

The nature of social media sharing is such that users are often exposed only to headlines or partial snippets of articles. In this case, even readers who went so far as to scan the first few lines of the article text might have been left with the impression there was some legitimacy to the claim about a gun grab.

However, this piece was just another example of a familiar strain of Election Day humor, jokes whose punchlines posit that a particular group of voters can be tricked into staying away from polling places by confusing them about the date of the election or positing some imaginary danger that might befall them if they turn out to cast their ballots. This version took the latter approach, warning Republicans that their legally-owned weapons might be confiscated from their homes if they didn't stay home to protect them on 8 November 2016 (i.e., election day):

The operation is said to be scheduled for November 8th of 2016.

In an even more sickening invasion of privacy and trampling of rights, the raids are being coordinated to occur when most citizens won’t even be home to protest the illegal seizure of their property. Doors will be kicked in so any weapons or ammunition on the property can be confiscated by the agents and taken out of the residences.

Republicans are strongly urged to remain at home on November 8th 2016 to assert their 4th and 2nd amendment rights!

Comments left on NewsClub suggested many readers didn't get the jape and were taking the report at face value:



Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.