Fred Thompson talks guns in New Hampshire

November 6, 2007
Washington Times

Fred Thompson had a somewhat surreal day yesterday as he toured the nation's first primary state, dropping in to Nashua for a genteel early-morning "tea with the candidate," then spending the afternoon in a gun-making plant in Rochester.

Seeking to point out his differences with his fellow Republican presidential candidates, the former Tennessee senator and actor toured the Thompson Center Arms factory and spoke to more than 100 workers, some with tattoos on their necks.

"You remind the people of the importance of their constitutional rights. I've been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment ever since I've been in politics; that's the way I've been yesterday, that's the way I am today and that's the way I'll be tomorrow," he said to cheers from the crowd, gathered in a concrete-floor warehouse.

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The declaration carries much weight in New Hampshire, which just concluded moose-hunting season and is ramping up for deer season. In addition, the senator's firm words are in contrast with the records of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who leads all polls in the state, and Rudolph W. Giuliani, who as mayor of New York City sought to restrict gun rights.

Mr. Romney got into hot water when he told a man wearing a National Rifle Association hat in Keene, N.H., in April that he has "been a hunter pretty much all my life." In reality, he's hunted just twice: rabbits on a ranch in Idaho when he was 15, and last year, when he shot quail on a fenced game preserve in Georgia.

Mr. Giuliani aggressively went after gun traffickers when he was mayor, filing a lawsuit against a several gun manufacturers and dealers and supporting tough new gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons.

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