A sportman’s magazine’s report that John Kerry owns a Chinese assault rifle is not true, the senator’s presidential campaign contends.

As WorldNetDaily reported, Kerry, who has pushed for bans on so-called assault weapons, was quoted in the October issue of Outdoor Life responding to a Q&A presented to both leading presidential candidates.

“My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don’t own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle.”

But campaign spokesman Michael Meehan told the New York Times Kerry owns two guns, a double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun and a single-bolt-action military rifle, which he “keeps as a relic” and had never fired.

Outdoor Life claimed it had done an exclusive interview with the candidates, but Meehan said many of the remarks attributed to Kerry were from a questionnaire filled out by campaign staff.

The military rifle, which has no markings, came from a friend of Kerry’s “years ago,” Meehan said, noting rifles of that kind were first produced more than 100 years ago in Russia.

They commonly were used by North Korean and Viet Cong communists.

Meehan told the Times he was unable to ask Kerry about the rifle last week because of the senator’s hoarse voice.

Kerry is a hunter who voiced support for the recently expired assault-weapons ban and often tells citizens he’s never met anyone who wanted to use an AK-47 to shoot a deer.

Last week, Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, told the Times the comment in Outdoor Life made Kerry’s support of the ban disingenuous.

”It’s OK for John Kerry to own these kinds of firearms, but it’s not OK for John Q. Public?” Arulanandam said, adding Kerry could be subject to court-martial if the gun were brought home from the war as a souvenir. ”He certainly owes people an explanation as to why there’s a double standard.”

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