Aerosmith leader Joe Perry fulfilled a life-long dream when he appeared on Discovery Channel’s hit series “Sons of Guns” this week, joining Will Hayden and his team of gunsmiths to restore and repair an antique, black powder Lyle cannon owned by the rock legend.
“I was surprised that it was as real as what you see on television. It’s pretty credible,” he told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column of the experience. “Someone found these guys doing what they do. It’s a niche market, and it’s really impressive.”
But guns are nothing new for Perry, who has been collecting them for years.
“I have always been fascinated with guns. 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.”
Perry is also a self-proclaimed history buff who spends his spare time learning the ins and out of America’s weaponry culture.
“I was very fascinated by the time when firearms went from being fire sticks to being something people could use to hunt and to survive,” he explained. “That era, that ‘black powder’ era of firearms, has been my area of interest, and it turns out that Will from the show used to do the Calvary thing, so he is a ‘black powder’ aficionado.”
Perry – who recently referred to himself as a “definite old-school Republican” – also noted that he would like to see some “continuity” in terms of gun laws from state to state.
“It seems ridiculous that you can be in one state with your driver’s license and buy a firearm, and then in the next state it is totally illegal,” he continued. “There are real problems to that, but as soon as you bring up the subject and say ‘gun control’ it sets a red flag. It is definitely a difficult issue, 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.”
And while “not messing with the Constitution” is deeply important to Perry as we head into another Presidential election, the rocker said that there are other concerns that are more urgent.
“Getting the economy back, getting jobs back and making this country strong again,” he added. “That should be the focal point, if people are out of jobs and the government is putting people on welfare it is going the wrong way.”
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.