Fact Check

Did Elizabeth Warren Say 'We Shall Disarm Republicans Ourselves'?

We found no evidence Warren ever said that if "the Republicans" refused to surrender their guns, "we shall disarm them ourselves."

Published Jun 10, 2016

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to local residents during an organizing event, Friday, March 1, 2019, in Dubuque, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Image Via AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Elizabeth Warren said that if "the Republicans" refused to surrender their weapons, "we" would "disarm them ourselves."

In June 2016, at least two memes were circulated featuring a quote purportedly from Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren saying, "If the Republicans disarm, all is well and good. If they refuse to disarm, we shall disarm them ourselves":

elizabeth warren disarm

The quote also circulated in early 2015:

The meme's June 2016 recirculation was likely due to Warren's new visibility as a vocal adversary to Donald Trump and his candidacy. As Warren debated the GOP frontrunner on Twitter, folks resurrected the old purported quote as a general argument against Warren's character and likability:

A marriage between @realDonaldTrump’s toxic racism & @RepHensarling’s Wall Street giveaways is a path to ruin for our country.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 7, 2016

Before 2015, a nearly identical version of the quote existed, but that version was widely and consistently attributed to former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, not Elizabeth Warren:

elizabeth warren disarm republicans

We were unable to locate any interviews, footage, clips, tweets, or other instances in which Elizabeth Warren said anything remotely resembling the phrase quoted above.  

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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