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White House photo backs up Obama's 'fired a gun' claim

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 7:50 p.m.
President Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., on Aug. 4.

The White House
President Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., on Aug. 4. The White House

WASHINGTON — Two days before President Obama's first trip outside Washington to promote his gun-control proposals, the White House tried Saturday to settle a brewing mystery by releasing a photo to back his claim to be a skeet shooter. Obama had set inquiring minds spinning when, in a recent interview with The New Republic magazine, he answered “yes” when asked if he had ever fired a gun. The admission came as a surprise to many.

“Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” Obama said in the interview released last weekend, referring to the official presidential retreat in rural Maryland.

Obama had not mentioned skeet shooting before that interview.

The White House photo released Saturday is dated Aug. 4, 2012. The caption says Obama is shooting clay targets on the range at Camp David. Obama is seen holding a gun against his left shoulder, his left index finger on the trigger and smoke coming from the barrel. He is wearing jeans, a dark blue, short-sleeved polo shirt, sunglasses and earmuffs.

The National Rifle Association, which has rejected Obama's proposals, scoffed at the photo.

“One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun-control scheme imaginable,” said Andrew Arulanandam, the organization's spokesman.

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