Barack Obama seen shooting gun at Camp David

The White House has released a photograph of Barack Obama at his country retreat shooting clay targets. It is the first time the US President has been seen shooting a gun and comes after sceptics questioned his claim that he shoots clay pigeons regularly while at Camp David.

The White House says the photo was taken at Camp David in August 2012 Credit: White House/Pete Souza/flickr

Obama was asked in an interview 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 often 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."

Critics questioned the President's comments. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, even challenged Obama to a shooting contest. Obama's comment was widely seen as an attempt to reach out to gun owners to ease their concerns about his proposals on gun control.