US Olympic skeet shooter rips gun control measures

Shooter Kim Rhode poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 8, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

Story highlights

  • Kim Rhode is set to compete in the Rio Olympics Friday
  • She explained why she believes in the Second Amendment

(CNN)US Olympic Gold Medal shooter Kim Rhode is wading into the gun control debate and defended the Second Amendment ahead of her competition in Brazil.

"We should have the right to keep and bear arms, to protect ourselves and our family," the skeet shooter said in an interview Wednesday with Time Magazine in Rio de Janeiro. "The Second Amendment was put in there not just so we can go shoot skeet or go shoot trap. It was put in so we could defend our First Amendment, the freedom of speech, and also to defend ourselves against our own government."
    Kim Rhode poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit.
    Rhode, who is the US's most decorated Olympic shooter, is set to compete in the Rio Olympics on Friday and if she wins a medal she would be the first woman to medal in six straight Olympic games.
    The California native said that she hopes to pass shooting along to her three-year-old son "when he becomes of age."
    "I started when I was like 7 or 8 years old, and it was something that was a big deal in my family, to gain that rite of passage," she said.
    The skeet shooter also criticized gun control measures that were passed in California following the December 2015 San Bernardino terror attack that left 14 dead.
    Olympian Kim Rhode addresses the Republican National Convention on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
    "I shoot 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, so having to do a background check every time I purchase ammo, or every time I want to bring ammo in or out of a competition or a match, those are very challenging for me," said Rhode, who addressed the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
    She also lamented laws that would require her to register guns passed down to her by her family members as assault weapons.
    "I've had guns in my family for generations that have been passed down, and now I'm going to register them as assault weapons," Rhode said. "And they will not be passed on to my son, or to me from my father. It definitely does affect me and give me a reason to speak out more."
    Rhode won her first gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and her fifth at the 2012 Olympics in London.