Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is set to address the National Rifle Association at its annual meeting on April 13, according to ABC News.
The speech will come at a crucial time for Romney as he works to appeal to the conservative base of his party while moving closer to winning the party's nomination.
ABC News said Romney revealed for the first time more than a month ago that he owned two shotguns. In February, while addressing a question about gun control at a town hall meeting in Ohio, Romney responded, "I believe in the second amendment, I’ll protect the second amendment. I have guns myself."
In 2007, Romney said, "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," during a debate with the Boston Globe. The interviewer asked for clarification on whether it was his son's gun and Romney said, "Um, well, yes, but so what? He has several guns out at our vacation place in Utah, and I use them from time to time."
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Romney's rival in the presidential race, Rick Santorum, sought to link Romney's stance with President Barack Obama's on April 4, while campaigning in Pennsylvania. He recalled Obama's comments in 2008 comments, paraphrasing, "Barack Obama four years ago referred to this area of Pennsylvania — right here — as a place that holds on, clings to their guns and their Bibles," according to AFP.
Santorum added, "You’re damn right we do," to applause from the crowd.
Obama's clarified his comment in 2008, saying that people were bitter about the economic situation, and adding, "You know when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. Now, I didn't say it as well as I should have," according to Reuters.
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Gun control is a pivotal issue in Pennsylvania, where the NRA has the largest memberships. Santorum sought to compare Romney's views with Obama's saying, "He supported the Brady Bill, supported the gun ban, increased taxes on gun licenses by 400 percent when he was in the state of Massachusetts," according to The New York Times.
ABC News said Romney has been telling voters on the campaign trail that "we have all the laws we need" in regards to gun control.
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