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Senate Republican: Trump’s ‘due process’ comment took my breath away

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (R-Pa.) said Thursday that he was left breathless after President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE suggested that authorities could confiscate guns from potentially dangerous people before ever getting the permission of a court.

"I have to admit that the idea of taking a person's property before the due process — that did take my breath away a little bit," Toomey said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Doesn't work that way in America."

But Toomey also suggested that Trump may not have been speaking literally when he made the remark at a Wednesday meeting with lawmakers on gun policy, and said that the more important takeaway from that gathering is that the president is ready to address potential gun safety reforms.

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"Look, I think there's an old saying about this president, which is take him seriously, not necessarily literally," Toomey said. "And I think the big takeaway from this meeting is he wants to get something done."

Trump embraced a series of gun control reform proposals at the Wednesday meeting, including a plan to strengthen background checks, bar mentally ill people from purchasing guns and harden security at schools.

After Vice President Pence suggested that families and local law enforcement should have more tools to report potentially dangerous individuals with weapons, Trump said that authorities should instead "take the firearms first, and then go to court."

So-called red flag laws in some states allow law enforcement officials to temporarily confiscate guns from individuals deemed by judges to be a danger to themselves or others.

The call for stricter gun control measure reemerged last month after a gunman opened fire at a South Florida high school, killing 17 people and injuring 14 others.

Trump urged lawmakers on Wednesday to quickly tackle gun control reform and suggested that they start with a years-old proposal introduced by Toomey and Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinElection Countdown: Florida Senate fight resumes after hurricane | Cruz softens ObamaCare attacks | GOP worries Trump will lose suburban women | Latest Senate polls | Rep. Dave Brat gets Trump's 'total endorsement' | Dem candidates raise record B Poll: Dems lead in Indiana, West Virginia Senate races, tied in Nevada McConnell defends Trump-backed lawsuit against ObamaCare MORE (D-W.Va.) aimed at strengthening background checks for gun purchases.