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White House Releases Photo Of Obama Firing Gun
The White House has released a photograph of Barack Obama firing a gun amid growing anger over his attempts to tighten gun control.
The release of the picture, on the White House Flickr account, is seen as an attempt to silence critics after he told an interviewer that he regularly went skeet shooting at Camp David.
His comments drew immediate calls for photographs to prove his claims.
The picture of Mr Obama firing a gun wearing earmuffs and protective glasses, is dated August 4, 2012, and shows him shooting clay targets on the range at the presidential retreat in Maryland.
The gun is cocked in the President's left shoulder, his left index finger is on the trigger and smoke is coming from the barrel.
In his interview with The New Republic magazine on Sunday, the President was asked if he had ever fired a gun.
He replied: "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.
"Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have 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 release of the picture comes two days before Mr Obama heads to Minnesota to discuss gun control.
Mr Obama is pushing a package of gun-control measures in response to the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, where 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot dead 20 children.
Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, said earlier in the week that he was unsure about how often the president shoot at Camp David.
Mr Carney said that no photos had been released "because when (Obama) goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs."
He said: "There may be a photo but I haven't seen it."