Fake News: President Trump Did NOT Sign Executive Order Banning All Assault Rifles Nationwide

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: President Trump Did NOT Sign Executive Order Banning All Assault Rifles Nationwide

Did President Trump just sign an executive order banning all assault rifles nationwide? No, that's not true: the "news" may have caused joy or dismay depending on which side of the debate you are on but it was totally made up by a prankster who launched the rumor through prank website LA TLMES (a name that looks a lot like the LA Times if you use a lowercase font).

The story originated from an article published by an anonymous prankster on September 21, 2019 titled "President Trump Signs Executive Order Banning All Assault Rifles Nationwide" (archived here). People who clicked the link were greeted by a video of Rick Astley singing his hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up".

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

President Trump Signs Executive Order Banning All Assault Rifles Nationwide

This is what the site looked like when the article was clicked:


Here is the Wikipedia definition of Rick Rolling, in case you haven't been on the internet for very long:


Rickrolling, alternatively rick-rolling, is a prank and an Internet meme involving an unexpected appearance of the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song " Never Gonna Give You Up". The meme is a type of bait and switch using a disguised hyperlink that leads to the music video.

The website www.latlmes.com (not www.latimes.com, notice the lower-case letter "L" instead of the "i") is a prank website where anyone can upload a headline and pick a video to go with it in order to fool friends online. It appears to be the work of @realjeffkeen.

And yes, we checked, there really isn't an executive order banning assault rifles, at least not at the time this article was published. You can see all Presidential Executive Orders here for yourself at the Federal Register.

We wrote about latlmes.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion