Mitt Romney may not have been the sentimental favorite among the speakers at the National Rifle Assn.’s annual convention. That title might have gone to former Sen. Rick Santorum, or to even to Fox News host and retired Lt. Col. Oliver L. North.

But Romney was clearly the headliner Friday in his new role as the presumptive Republican nominee for president. And he drew a warm reception for a speech in which he attacked President Obama for “employing every imaginable ruse and ploy” to restrict gun rights, which Romney pledged not to do if elected in November.

Although gun control groups have complained that Obama has done little to support their cause, Romney took a page from the NRA leadership, which has been saying that the president has been biding his time, waiting for a second term to crack down on firearms. He warned that Obama would “remake” the Supreme Court in a second term, threatening constitutional freedoms.