Happy President’s Day! As a day of remembrance and patriotic celebration, we are honoring past and current Presidents with a roundup of Presidential firearms enthusiasts.
The History of President’s Day
Presidents’ Day was originally established in 1885 to celebrate President George Washington’s Birthday. In 1971, the day was moved from Washington’s actual birthday on February 22 to the third Monday in February. This was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which attempted to create more three-day weekends for the workforce.
While some still celebrate individual Presidents’ birthdays, Presidents’ Day is widely viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.
Former Presidents who were Gun Enthusiasts
From hunting enthusiasts to sport shooters to gun collectors, these former Presidents were known for their love of firearms.
- George Washington—The Founding Father was a war general and avid foxhunter. Notable in his collection was a pair of pistols given to him by a French soldier who volunteered to fight alongside the Continental Army. Washington reportedly used these pistols in key battles like Valley Forge.
- Theodore Roosevelt—As a war hero and big-game hunter, Roosevelt has been described as the most gun-savvy President, and his collection shows it. His collection was so extensive that books have been written about it.
- Harry S. Truman—Truman had a pair of pistols that belonged to outlaw Jesse James in his personal firearms collection.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower—As one of nine Americans to earn a 5-Star rank, it is no surprise Eisenhower was a firearms enthusiast. He was also an avid sports shooter and added a shooting range at Camp David.
- John F. Kennedy—JFK enjoyed shooting clay pigeons for sport. He also had a large collection of firearms, including an M1 Garand, which sold at auction in 2015 for $149,500.
- Ronald Reagan—Despite an assassination attempt on his life shortly after he became President, Reagan was a big gun enthusiast. He was also the last President to carry a gun in office – a .38 revolver in his briefcase.
We’re proud to celebrate the legacy these men have left. Happy President’s Day!