Celebrities are almost always at the forefront of pushing for gun control measures in the wake of horrific mass shootings or terrorist attacks, including the one earlier this month at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.
The Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon. The San Bernardino massacre. After each of these events, one can, with near certainty, find the likes of Julianne Moore and Olivia Wilde on social media, before all of the facts are known, calling for stricter gun regulations for law-abiding American citizens.
There are, however, exceptions within the Hollywood cabal of gun control activists. These celebrities are gun owners themselves, and as such, know the value of the Second Amendment and the freedom it guarantees all Americans.
The list below highlights some of these non-conforming celebrities and the things they’ve said about their guns.
1. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Pitt told the Independent in 2014 that his grandfather handed down his shotgun to him when he was still in kindergarten.
“America is a country founded on guns,” Pitt said after the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. “It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong.”
The latest addition to the famous couple’s collection? A pair of Cisco 1911 pistols customized by Jesse James.
2. Vince Vaughn
“I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home,” the 46-year-old actor told GQ in 2015. “We don’t have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It’s not about duck hunting; it’s about the ability of the individual. It’s the same reason we have freedom of speech.”
“Take mass shootings. They’ve only happened in places that don’t allow guns,” he added. “These people are sick in the head and are going to kill innocent people. They are looking to slaughter defenseless human beings. They do not want confrontation. In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f***ing schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds.”
3. Jeremy Renner
“Taking guns from people is no answer,” the Bourne Legacy star wrote on his website after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. “I own guns and want to keep it that way. But guns don’t kill people… people kill people. Blaming movies or video games is no actionable solution.”
The actor added that he believes the solution to preventing gun violence “begins in each of our homes,” with better education on gun use from parents.
4. Bruce Willis
The Die Hard star is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and has repeatedly criticized attempts to implement gun control in the wake of national tragedies.
“I think that you can’t start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it’s all going to become undone,” Willis told the Associated Press in 2013. “If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn’t they take all your rights away from you?”
5. David Spade
The 51-year-old comedian and actor told an audience in Los Angeles in 2015 that his mother often drove he and his siblings out into the Arizona desert for target practice.
“When we were 8, 10 and 12, my mom was really an on-the-go ’70s woman. My dad scrammed. So, you know when you’re a single mom in Arizona, we all had guns ‘cause we’re from Arizona,” Spade said. “So, she would take us on the way to work to the end of the desert, and I had a rifle. Andy had a pistol. Bryan had a shotgun.”
“We’d just walk, shoot cactus, shoot birds, shoot roadrunner, kill rattlesnakes,” he added, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Spade also donated $100,000 to the Phoenix Police Department in 2008, to help them pay for 300 new rifles.
6. James Earl Jones
Jones is a member of the National Rifle Association, though he conceded in his 2004 autobiography that he is not active in the group.
“When it comes to the right wing politics of the NRA, I don’t get into that,” the actor and voice of Darth Vader wrote. “I just believe in my right to have a gun in my house.”
7. Miranda Lambert
The country music star said in December that she gets firearms from a fan for Christmas every year.
“I don’t have a stance on anything except what I was taught from day one: gun safety,” Lambert told Cosmo, adding: “But I live by myself now, so yeah, I have a pistol, are you crazy?”
8. Ice T
Rapper/actor Ice T has previously said he’ll give up his guns “when everybody else does.”
“It’s legal in the United States, it’s part of our Constitution,” he said, according to Reason. “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”
9. Amber Heard
“I’m a good shot and I love guns – I own several,” the 30-year-old Rum Diary actress told the Daily Mail. “I don’t have children in the house, so I sleep with my gun in a place that’s close enough that if I needed to protect myself, I could. It’s not in bed with me, though; it’s in a safe location. I’m fully trained and I’m an active member of a gun club. I’m definitely pro-gun.”
Heard’s preferred weapon? A .357 Magnum.
10. Tom Selleck
Selleck famously battled the liberal Rosie O’Donnell on gun control, and is an avid outdoorsman and gun enthusiast.
He also apparently has quite a collection: according to Ammoland, the NRA teamed with a Nevada Cabela’s in 2009 to display the Blue Bloods star’s collection in a small exhibit, a collection that includes the Shiloh Sharps #3 rifle featured in Quigley Down Under.
11. Gary Sinise
The actor and advocate for military veterans is a strident supporter of gun rights.
“Can’t get rid of guns,” the 2016 Bradley Prize winner told Larry King last year. “Taking people’s right to protect themselves from bad people is not something you can do.”
Sinise’s eloquent response to King is worth a watch in full.
12. Eric Clapton
The blues legend reportedly has a massive gun collection, some of which he sold at auction in 2008 to make room for even more guns.
““I find shooting a much more social pastime than fishing… shooting with groups of people up and down the country has taught me a lot about how to get on with my fellow human beings,” the guitarist said then, according to UK Metro.
13. Joe Perry
“I have always been fascinated with guns,” the Aerosmith guitarist told Fox News in an interview. “I grew up in America so granted, it is part of our heritage and it is written into the laws of how this country is run,” he said. “I’ve been fascinated with all kinds of weapons my whole life, and as I have been able to afford to acquire pieces, here and there I started to collect.”
“It is definitely a difficult issue,” Perry said of gun control, “and the bottom line is the Constitution is what it is, and I stand by everything that is in it. Right now, some of the statistics show that some of the safest places in the country are places where law-abiding citizens are allowed to have firearms, and the crime rates are low.”
14. Charles Barkley
The NBA legend told Bob Costas in 2012 that he has carried a gun in his car ever since he turned 21.
“I just feel safer with it because we have jocks that get robbed all the time. Road rage and things like that,” Barkley said. “I feel a sense of peace when I have it with me.”
15. Chuck Norris
The action star has long been a defender of the Second Amendment. After the 2015 shooting at the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, Norris blasted President Obama’s gun control-focused response.
“When will Obama and other progressives learn that increasing government gun control and legislation won’t keep them out of the hands of bad guys? They will further disarm honest, good Americans who need that protection against murderous thugs like the parasite who walked into the Emmanuel AME Church,” Norris wrote in an op-ed for WND.
“Imagine once again, if just one of those Christians who held a Bible in their hand at that AME church also packed a pistol via a legal concealed weapons permit,” he added. “Souls could have been saved.”
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum