Romney supports gun rights

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 13, 2007 at 12:23 a.m.
ORLANDO - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney touted his conservative credentials at a gun show Friday, where he met with a GOP-friendly crowd in an effort to garner support for his 2008 campaign.
''I support the right of individuals to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution,'' said Romney, former governor of Massachusetts.
Romney, who has launched a presidential exploratory committee, appeared at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show with his wife, Ann, and Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.
Romney spent about an hour walking among the booths and greeting some of the more than 40,000 outdoor enthusiasts, law enforcement officials and industry representatives attending the show, which featured exhibits from major firearms and ammunitions manufacturers.
Romney also took a private phone call from former President George H.W. Bush. He wished Bush a speedy recovery from hip replacement surgery he had last week.
''I can't wait to watch you skydive again,'' Romney told Bush, referring to Bush's tandem jump in 2004 on his 80th birthday.
Romney described himself as an outdoorsman, but admitted that he was not a firearms expert.
''As a boy, I worked on a ranch in Idaho and shot rabbits with a single shot .22 rifle,'' Romney said. ''After a while my cousin said 'you're not very good at that. Try using this semiautomatic.'''
Romney said he once owned a pistol, but doesn't own any firearms now.

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