Ronald Reagan Gun Control Quote, All Ronald Reagan Quotes About “Gun Control”

A widely shared image on social media attributes a quote on firearms and ammunition to the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

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Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who forged a conservative revolution that transformed American politics, died on June 5, 2004 after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer”s disease, U.S. media reported. Reagan is pictured waving to well-wishers on the south lawn of the White House on April 25, 1986, before departing for a summit in Tokyo. Marquette/FILE SV
Most iterations include a photograph of Reagan alongside the quote, which reads: “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.” ( here ). There is no evidence that Ronald Reagan ever said this.

The quote stems from the 1850 “Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League” in London, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, German philosophers and authors of “The Communist Manifesto”.

In the address, Marx and Engels describe the strategies necessary for the organization of workers, including the arming of the “proletariat”. In context, the quote falsely attributed to Reagan appears as follows:

“Where the workers are employed by the state, they must arm and organize themselves into special corps with elected leaders, or as a part of the proletarian guard. Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. The destruction of the bourgeois democrats’ influence over the workers, and the enforcement of conditions which will compromise the rule of bourgeois democracy, which is for the moment inevitable, and make it as difficult as possible— these are the main points which the proletariat and therefore the League must keep in mind during and after the approaching uprising.” ( Page 2 in the document here )

A search through Reagan’s archived speeches from the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum site produced no results closely resembling the quote in this claim ( here ).

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In a May 6, 1983 speech at the Annual Members’ Banquet of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Reagan did remark, “We will never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family from fear and harm,” ( here ).

In a June 30, 1983 speech, Reagan said: “<…> you won”t get gun control by disarming law abiding citizens. There”s only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up, and if you don”t actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time.” ( here )


False. There is no evidence that former U.S. President Ronald Reagan made the remarks attributed to him on social media. The quote comes from an 1850 address by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

This article was produced by the Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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