Updated at: 05/03/2013 2:35 PM
(AP) HOUSTON - Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum praised the National Rifle Association as "warriors" defending the U.S. Constitution.
Santorum spoke Friday in the political rally at the NRA’s national convention in Houston. The convention is being held amid the backdrop of the fierce gun control debate raging across the country and the recent defeat of a major gun control bill in the U.S. Senate.
Santorum, a former senator from Pennyslvania, told NRA members that the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment "come from God."
Santorum said by helping to defeat the Senate bill, the NRA "stood up when freedom was under assault. You stood in the gap. You made a difference."
He also said the debate over gun control is one over the country’s core traditional values.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)