The White House has tried to quell scepticism about President Barack Obama’s claim that he regularly shoots a gun by releasing a photograph as proof.
The photo, tweeted on the internet by a White House staffer, shows the president dressed in jeans and a casual shirt shooting a rifle.
He is wearing noise protectors on his ears and dark glasses.
A flashed trajectory of smoke spews out of the end of the rifle, a puff of smoke erupts above.
The photo was credited as an official White House handout photograph that was taken August 4, 2012.
The caption said Obama was shooting clay targets at the range at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland.
Obama is pushing hard for Congress to enact new controls on gun ownership, particularly assault guns with large clips of the type used to slaughter 20 five and six-year olds in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.
Immediately after the massacre, gun and ammunition sales soared as gun advocates feared their ownership - especially of military assault weapons - would be curtailed.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, this week said it was limiting ammunition sales to three boxes per customer per day to keep up with the demand.
Asked recently by the New Republic magazine whether he had ever fired a gun, Obama said: “Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.”
His claim astonished the public - and brought derision from the gun lobby, which sees Obama as a threat to their right to gun ownership - guaranteed in the second amendment of the US constitution.
The photo still hadn’t convinced the National Rifle Association, whose spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN: “One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun control scheme imaginable.”