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Romney bought guns since he last ran for president


The Romney campaign says the former Massachusetts governor now owns two shotguns purchased in the past five years, since he last ran for president.

Earlier today, per NBC's Garrett Haake, a questioner asked what the candidate would do to protect gun rights (and allow people to protect their families from a tyrannical government). 

"I believe in the second amendment," Mitt Romney said. "I’ll protect the second amendment. I have guns myself. Not going to tell you where they are. Don’t have them on myself either, alright."

This raised the question of whether Romney purchased a weapon in the past five years or if he was retelling a tale from his last run for president.

In January 2007, Romney said, per the Boston Globe: "I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I'm a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms."

It turned out, however, that he didn't actually own the gun he was referring to; it was his son Josh's.

"Asked by reporters at the gun show Friday whether he personally owned the gun, Romney said he did not," the Globe wrote. "He said one of his sons, Josh, keeps two guns at the family vacation home in Utah, and he uses them 'from time to time.' The guns are a Winchester hunting rifle and a Glock 9mm handgun, which Romney uses for target shooting. Romney also described himself as a sportsman who learned to shoot as a boy rabbit hunting in Idaho with a .22 rifle. He fondly recalled shooting quail last year at a Republican Governors Association event in Georgia.

" 'I ... had a good time and actually knocked down a couple of birds,' he said."

Romney, who no longer owns that vacation home, also recalled: "As a boy, I worked on a ranch in Idaho and shot rabbits with a single shot .22 rifle. After a while my cousin said 'you're not very good at that. Try using this semiautomatic.'"

Romney, in trying to appeal to conservatives, had a tough time the last time he ran proving his gun-toting bona fides.

His quotes were circulated from his 1994 Senate race that he said he didn't "line up" with the NRA, and, famously described himself as a "rodent and rabbit hunter ... small varmints, if you will."

"I'm not a big-game hunter," Romney said. "I've made it very clear, I've always been a, if you will, rodent and rabbit hunter all right. Small, small varmints, if you will. And I began when I was, oh, 15 or so, and hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times. I also hunted quail in Georgia, so I've-- it's not really big-game hunting, if you will. It's not deer and large animals. But I've hunted a number of times of various types of small rodents."