(TELEGRAPH) — President Barack Obama has claimed that he goes shooting “all the time”, while attempting to reassure American gun-owners that he respects their rights to use firearms.

Amid conservative anger over Mr Obama’s proposals to ban assault weapons as part of a drastic overhaul of US gun control laws, the president said that he was a keen clay-pigeon shooter.

Asked in a magazine interview whether he had ever fired a gun, Mr Obama said he did so with guests at the president’s rural retreat.

“Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” he said. “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”.

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