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Recent mass shootings have spurred calls for more gun control, and some questionable Facebook posts on the issue.
On Aug. 17, for example, Facebook users started sharing an image that attributes this quote to former President Ronald Reagan: "Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempts to disarm the people must be stopped, by force if necessary."
This post, which has been shared more than 5,300 times, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We reached out to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute about the post. Melissa Giller, the organization’s chief marketing officer, told us that they searched all of their archival records and couldn’t find a reference to the quote.
Searching online we also couldn’t find a credible source attributing it to Reagan, though in 1983 he told the NRA he would "never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family from fear and harm," according to Newsweek.
But several sources, like The Collegian, Walla Walla University’s student newspaper in Washington state, cited German philosopher Karl Marx as the author of the Facebook post quote.
According to the Collected Works of Karl Marx, he said it during an 1850 address to the Communist League in London.
The Facebook post is wrong, so we rate its claim False.
Facebook post, Aug. 17, 2019
Newsweek, What Ronald Reagan told the NRA in 1983, April 27, 2017
The Collegian, Volume 102, Issue 18, March 8, 2018
Email interview with Melissa Giller, chief marketing officer, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, Sept. 6, 2019
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