White House releases photo of Obama shooting shotgun
February 2nd, 2013
12:06 PM ET
9 years ago

White House releases photo of Obama shooting shotgun

(CNN) - One could say this photo shoots down any remaining skepticism.

The White House on Saturday released a photo of President Barack Obama shooting skeet last August, backing up a claim he made in a recent interview that some Republicans questioned.

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"Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time," Obama said, answering a question about whether he had fired a gun before. He said that his daughters had not participated but that he has "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake."

The caption accompanying the official White House photo says it was taken at Camp David - the Maryland presidential retreat - on August 4, 2012, his 51st birthday.

Obama's answer drew skeptical reviews from Republicans, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, who spoke Monday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

"If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos? Why hasn't he referenced this at any point in time?" Blackburn said.

Then she issued something of a challenge to the president: "I think he should invite me to Camp David, and I'll go skeet shooting with him, and I bet I'll beat him."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told CNN's Jessica Yellin at Monday's briefing for reporters that Obama goes "to Camp David with some regularity, but I'm not sure how often he's done that" sport, which involves shooting clay discs with a shotgun.

He was also asked whether there were any photos, and if one could be provided to reporters.

"There may be, but I haven't seen it," he said.

Carney added, "When he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.”

Carney said on Wednesday that he had no reaction to Blackburn's comments.

Reporters are not typically permitted to cover Obama's personal activities at the secluded retreat.

The release comes as Obama is advancing a slate of measures he says will prevent gun violence, including reinstituting an assault weapons ban, limiting the size of gun magazines, and requiring background checks on all gun sales. He also signed a series of executive actions relating to gun violence.

While the assault weapons ban has its proponents on Capitol Hill, some members of Congress are skeptical it will pass, considering Republican opposition and wary Democrats who represent conservative districts and states.

Vice President Joe Biden led Obama's gun violence task force convened after the December 14 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

He acknowledged to reporters after a Thursday meeting with Democrats on Capitol Hill that "Nothing we are going to do is fundamentally going to alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down." Obama had made similar comments earlier in the month.

The president will take his gun-related platform on the road to Minnesota on Monday.

National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam reacted to the photo, telling CNN, "One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun control scheme imaginable."

- CNN's Gregory Wallace, Shirley Henry, Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. Heebeejeebee


    February 2, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Richard

    Unless that is a double barrel that is not a alley gun.

    February 2, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Lord Toronaga

    It's a nice photo but it is somewhat staged. Typically you would see the gun pointed at a more upward angle. What kind of skeet is he shooting at ... head level ? Wrong glasses too. Yellow makes more sense. And the gun should be planted more firmly in his shoulder. I wonder if he burned his fingers on the hot barrel ? Shooting gloves would help. But, I happy to see he is actually getting into the sport. Soon he'll have a closet full of guns. It's very addicting. Way to go chief.

    February 2, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Scott

    Skeet shooting? That's one heck of a low skeet if that is what Dear Leader is really shooting. Trap, possibly, but not skeet.


    February 2, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. john

    Hi, its ok if you are using a gun in some kind of sport but there is a big difference when you use a gun to commit a crime or kill some one for no reason.In that foto were Pres. Obama is using a shot gun I feel is ok he is hurting no one nor killing anyone.To me a real gun law would be that no one should have any type of gun at all. And only police,militry,goverment offical are the only one that should port then, gun store should not be allow to sale at all because there is the problem wry put a gun law when you have these gun store that are selling all the time it makes no sence..

    February 2, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Scott

    Skeet ѕhооtіng? That's one heck of a low skeet if that is what Dear Leader is really ѕhооtіng. Trap, possibly, but not skeet.


    February 2, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. Frank Brady

    Thank you for once again demonstrating irrefutable evidence of CNN's total ignorance about firearms. Your link to this page ("Rifleman Obama revealed in photo) showing Obama handing a shotgun says all that needs be said.

    February 2, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Norman

    If only the caption was: "Joe, Nancy, come back. I was only kidding..."

    February 2, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Lupus

    And now fringe members of the right got a pic of the president they despise shooting a gun. Any bets on how long til its photo shopped to become an anti fascist themed pic?

    February 2, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Bob

    OK, GOP go ahead and say it was photo shopped...........

    February 2, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Las Vegas Bookie Union

    The over/under for the first neocon to post "that picture looks as real as Obama's birth certificate" is hereby set at 1 minute and 37 seconds. Good luck, players.

    February 2, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Amir abubakar uba Danhassan

    Let, the u.s. & their congress be concious that, where pres. Obama ever firing rifle, or vice versa.. Setings control n regulations in the rifle possession is a right n welcome idea, now adays with generation crimes n voilence were caursing to damaging human morals n massive kílling of humankind, that was'nt only with americans but, is a problem to the global community

    February 2, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Schmoogalicious

    Republican idiocy is simply without peer.

    February 2, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Joel johnson

    What's with the rifleman headline and shooting a shotgun. Are you clueless or just careless.

    February 2, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Erick

    From the amount of gray hair that photo was staged very recently... and badly. C'mon, guys, at least put a little effort into making it look authentic!

    February 2, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Robert

    Why only one choke on a double barrel shotgun?

    February 2, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. don jones

    I love it that a peckawood politician from Tn. Comments on other folks shooting skeet.

    February 2, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. fernace

    OK, well there you go, Rep. Marsha Blackburn! We still have to have a conversation about the meaning of "well regulated militia,..." because it's the reasoning behind the "right of the people to keep & bear arms..."! To me, in 2013, it means a police department & military, and not that each citizen should feel compelled to arm themselves like a "militia"! Comparing guns to cars is the apple/orange arguement & saying guns don't kill is redundant, as No inantimate object operates itself! It's made to maim & kill & has no other use! It's just good sense to have enforcable restictons on such a tool, especially in light of the sheer amount of shootings & deaths in this nation! We may not stop gun violence, but we can minimize it & that's better than doing nothing!!

    February 2, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Trixtur

    Seems like you gun huggers might be having to eat some crow for dinner.

    February 2, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. adrifter

    Here's just a start for the conspiracy theorists:
    1) 'Why can't you see his face? It's not really the president.
    2) Why is the gun not tipped up towards the sky? The person is not really shooting skeet.
    3) The effect of gravity doesn't look right. This picture WAS NOT taken on the Moon.
    I'm sure the conspiracy theorists, the GOP and the NRA will come up with even better stuff.

    February 2, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. BR

    Some other things aren't right with this photo. The shotgun should be pointed upward and it's level like he's shooting a rifle. The muzzle blast is only coming out the right side. If the shotgun is ported, it should come out equally from left and right. The barrel looks way too small for anything other than a 410 shotgun, which is used for small game only. I also don't see any indication of recoil.

    February 2, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. es

    I've never sighted a gun down the side of a barrel. By the way he's shouldering that gun I'll bet his shoulder was mighty sore after firing it a few times. Nice prop though.

    February 2, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Ekaterina Kaverina

    The President goes shooting... Now watch them make a turnaround and start asking for less guns because they object to everything Obama. Smart.

    February 2, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Steve


    February 2, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. 2012liberal

    I'm sure the rethugs will start some bovine scat that it was a staged photo w look a like. Or better yet, wont say a thing b cuz he shoved their faces n it. They yell and scream and then obama shuts them up. They r NEVER satisfied!

    February 2, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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