In the wake of the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre, and in anticipation of the presidential election, gun control is a heated topic that celebrity photographer Tyler Shields -- who often features guns in his controversial A-list portraits -- isn't afraid to weigh in on.
"If there is a gun around, I want to be in control of it. That's for sure," Shields told The Huffington Post. "I feel like people should be able to have a gun if they want to, but at the same time, guns are not a toy; they are a very serious weapon."
Shields has put many of his subjects in front of or behind guns, photographing the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Alex Pettyfer, Josh Hutcherson and Hayden Panettiere with the hot-button prop.
"To say no one should be able to have a gun, I don't agree with and it's not really the gun you have to worry about. It's the bullets; nobody worries about the bullets," continues Shields, Francesca Eastwood's boyfriend and a regular on "Mrs. Eastwood & Company." "They only worry about the gun. It is very easy to get bullets."
Tyler isn't the only celebrity to talk gun control in the wake of the Aurora tragedy that left 12 dead and 59 injured after gunman James Holmes opened fire on a movie theater audience during the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
"The right to bear arms was referring to muskets. Maybe it's time to re-think our gun policy on this day of slaughter in Colorado," Susan Sarandon tweeted.
Chris Daughtry tweeted: "Stricter gun laws will not stop SICK people from getting access to guns...Laws & rules are not in the forefront of the mind of a criminal."
And Cory Monteith weighed in, tweeting, "Guns don't kill people, people do etc.. but until we can fix society somehow you probably shouldn't be able to buy AR-15's at a fishing shop."
Check out Shields' gun shots below:
Robert De Niro
"Are you talkin to me?" Robert De Niro often plays a gun-wielding fast-talker, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/lifestyles-rich-packin-high-profile-celebrities-seeking-gun-permits-rise-article-1.441377" target="_hplink"> and he's got a license to carry</a> in real life too.
Miranda Lambert is packin' heat and she's not afraid to admit it: "I carry a weapon," <a href="http://www.self.com/healthystars/2012/06/miranda-lambert-slideshow#slide=6" target="_hplink">she told <em>Self</em> magazine</a>. "I got a death threat a few years ago and was really scared. But I don't want bodyguards. I am my own security."
When you've got an empire to protect, you better be packin'. <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/lifestyles-rich-packin-high-profile-celebrities-seeking-gun-permits-rise-article-1.441377" target="_hplink">Donald Trump is licensed to carry a gun</a>.
Johnny Depp may not have a gun license, but <a href="http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2009/07/01/johnny_depp_plans_to_teach_kids_to_handl" target="_hplink">he knows his way around a rifle</a>. "We would just go out and line up a bunch of cans and shoot with rifles, handguns and at times, submachine guns," Depp admits. "When I was a kid it was a controlled atmosphere, we weren't shooting at humans - we were shooting at cans and bottles mostly. I will most certainly take my kids out for target practice."
<a href="http://swns.com/eric-clapton-owned-vintage-shotguns-fetch-84000-at-auction-171437.html" target="_hplink">Eric Clapton is a vintage-gun aficionado</a> and even sold several pieces of his collection in 2010 for a whopping 84,000 pounds.
Former radio personality and Martha Stewart's daughter, Alexis Stewart <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/lifestyles-rich-packin-high-profile-celebrities-seeking-gun-permits-rise-article-1.441377" target="_hplink">exercises her Second Amendment right</a> to carry a gun.
From his on-camera roles alone, Clint Eastwood seems like an accomplished rifleman. Perhaps that's why the actor has become somewhat of an "American gun icon." "I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it," Eastwood has said.
James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones is a member of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and once said, "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
Marc Anthony is armed with much more than his powerful voice -- <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/lifestyles-rich-packin-high-profile-celebrities-seeking-gun-permits-rise-article-1.441377" target="_hplink">he's got a license to pack heat</a>.
Fierce gun supporter <a href="http://gunseditor.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/interview-with-rock-star-ted-nugent/" target="_hplink">Ted Nugent told "Guns and Fishing" in 2009 about his own views on firearms</a> and talked about the celebrity firearm owner community. "The guys at Metallica support the Second Amendment ... I just bought a number of guns for Joe Perry of Aerosmith," he said. "And when I performed in the Howard Stern movie, I was approached by Howard, who showed me his .32-caliber Seecamp pistol ... I was approached by Ozzy Osbourne and talked about his German 9mm Luger. Everybody supports the common pulse of defending one's self, which is why our founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment."
If you thought Howard Stern's only weapon was his biting radio voice, think again. As of 2010, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/lifestyles-rich-packin-high-profile-celebrities-seeking-gun-permits-rise-article-1.441377" target="_hplink">Stern was licensed to own a gun</a>.
Whoopi Goldberg disclosed during a taping of "The View" that <a href="http://newsbusters.org/blogs/josh-st-louis/2012/05/10/how-about-liberal-whoopi-goldberg-admits-shes-member-nra" target="_hplink">she is a member of the National Rifle Association</a>.
David Spade may not be a gun owner himself, although he did purchase 300 rifles in 2009. But <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/22/david-spade-donates-10000_n_152929.html" target="_hplink">the weaponry was a generous gift for a Phoenix -- Spade's hometown -- police department</a>.
Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt
If we've learned anything from Angelina Jolie's acting career, it's that she looks good holding a gun. <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1022472/Ive-got-Tomb-Raider-guns--Im-afraid-use-says-Angelina.html" target="_hplink">In 2008, Jolie told the U.K.'s <em>Daily Mail</em></a>, "I bought original, real guns of the type we used in 'Tomb Raider' for security. Brad and I are not against having a gun in the house, and we do have one. And yes, I'd be able to use it if I had to ... If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I've no problem shooting them."