AMERICA'S most prominent pro-gun activist has urged the country's shooters to fight efforts by President Obama to make the US "like England" with tougher laws on firearms.
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association (NRA), warned that Mr Obama's plans for a ban on assault weapons and background checks on shooting enthusiasts would turn them into pariahs.
He said: "We don't want America to become like England, where some of that nation's outstanding rifle competitors keep their hobby a dark secret from their neighbours for fear of social disapproval.
"We're not going to let the anti-gunners push us into that zone."
However, his remarks, in an article for the 'Daily Caller' website, were sharply rejected as "absolute rubbish" by Phil Scanlan, the performance director for British Shooting, the national gun sports organisation.
He said: "Of course you have to go through a series of checks to obtain a licence. But if you want a gun for legitimate sporting purposes, there are no real barriers."
The ban on assault weapons is not expected to be approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. (© Daily Telegraph, London)