Hunter has written three non-fiction books: Violent Screen: A Critic's 13 Years on the Front Lines of Movie Mayhem (1995), a collection of essays from his time at The Sun; American Gunfight (2005), an examination of the November 1, 1950 assassination attempt on Harry S. Truman at Blair House in Washington, D.C.; and Now Playing at the Valencia (2005), a collection of pieces from The Washington Post. Hunter has also written a number of non-film-related articles for The Post, including one on Afghanistan: "Dressed To Kill—From Kabul to Kandahar, It's Not Who You Are That Matters, but What You Shoot" (2001).
Hunter fires handguns as a hobby, saying "many people don't understand, shooting a firearm is a sensual pleasure that's rewarding in and of itself."
In an interview with NPR on February 16, 2011, in relation to the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others, Hunter defended the public availability of extended magazines and claimed it was not clear that the 33-round magazine used by the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, played a part in the incident. He had previously stated in his op-ed piece in The Washington Post that extended magazines are particularly valuable for the self-defense of women and the elderly, who he said could use them effectively as an alternative to semi-automatic rifles or shotguns. He points out that "women generally don't care to put in the training needed to master [rifles and shotguns]. Nor can the elderly handle [long guns] adeptly."