RIDGELAND, S.C. - In between campaign stops this morning, Texas Gov. Rick Perry squeezed in some time for a little target practice at a local gun range and a bite at Five Guys. Clad in his navy-blue "Perry President" fleece jacket, black ear protection and plastic glasses, Perry shot two weapons: a Ruger SR9 and a Palmetto State Armory AR-15.
"Seven yards," Perry told an employee when asked how far to set the target distance at the Palmetto State Armory Shooting center. He later expressed some disappointment with his shots, saying, "some pulling it off to the side."
"Sweet shooting little piece of equipment," Perry told reporters as he showed off his target sheet, which he signed with the phrase: "To Palmetto State Armory. Freedom! Rick Perry" before heading to a Five Guys nearby for a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, mayonnaise and mustard, a meal he ate after bowing his head for a blessing with his state chairman Katon Dawson and Rep. Mick Mulvaney.
The Texas governor, a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights who often jokes that his idea of gun control is to "use both hands," revealed that he normally shoots a pistol but often goes to LaRue's Tactical in Austin to hit the shooting range.
"When I'm home I do more of the - I shoot more pistol, just we live pretty close to a pistol range," Perry said. "I'll go out to LaRue's and shoot their weapons out there."
Perry has cited shooting at the gun range as his form of golf and often boasts of the time he shot a coyote trying to attack his daughter's dog while he was out for a jog.
Asked by a reporter who he was thinking about while shooting, Perry stayed mum, only responding: "Not you."