The White House quietly posted a photo of President Obama shooting a shotgun late Friday on its Flickr account, with little information to explain it. The only details came from the caption: “President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012.”
The photo left many questions unanswered. Mr. Obama recently said in an interview that he shoots skeet “all the time,” but his stance and hold seemed oddly amateur.
The White House would not say where the president got the shotgun. When asked Monday if Mr. Obama personally owns any firearms, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary replied: “Not that I’m aware of, no.”
Now we may have some answers.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents firearmand ammunition manufacturers, donated the equipment and consulting time to renovate the skeet field at Camp David around 2003. The organization gave tens of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and consulting services to build the regulation shooting facility and to provide shotgun shooting instruction to Camp David staff.
Also during the President George W. Bush administration, the NSSF donated several Browning Citori and Remington semi-automatic shotguns to the office of the president for use at Camp David. Spokesmen for the White House would not respond whether Mr. Obama was using one of those Browning shotguns in the photo.
Neither Browning nor Remington gave or sold any firearms directly to Mr. Obama. Even if they had, the president would have to go through the same onerous registration process that every District of Columbia resident endures to just keep a gun in the home.
Emily Miller is senior editor of the opinion pages for The Washington Times. Her “Emily Gets Her Gun” series on the District’s gun laws won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism. Click here to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.