A sheriff’s office in Colorado faced outrage after it posted a picture of a man dressed as Santa Claus applying for permit to carry a concealed handgun.
“Guess who came in to receive his concealed handgun permit today?” the El Paso county sheriff’s office tweeted on Friday, adding a Santa Claus emoji.
It added: “Did you know the El Paso county sheriff’s office has issued 49,750 concealed handgun permits with another 2,560 awaiting to be issued?”
The office also linked to instructions to its website about how to apply for a concealed handgun permit.
By Monday, the post had been commented on and shared more than 5,000 times.
Guess who came in to receive his Concealed Handgun Permit today? 🎅
Did you know the El Paso County Sheriff's Office has issued 49,750 Concealed Handgun Permits with another 2,560 awaiting to be issued?
For more info please visit our website: https://t.co/AbGrPigOUZ pic.twitter.com/ELmffXcfjA
— EPCSheriff (@EPCSheriff) December 3, 2021
Many condemned the insensitivity of such a post so soon after the deadliest US high school shooting this year, in which in Oxford, Michigan last Tuesday a 15-year-old killed four students and injured seven people including a teacher.
“I’m sitting here in downtown Oxford, MI, waiting for the candlelight vigil to start to pay tribute to four students who were murdered by a handgun smuggled into the school. But by all means, tell kids Santa carries a concealed weapon,” one person replied.
Another wrote: “The families of the kids slaughtered in Oxford, MI would like a word. My daughter, who’s best friend is fighting for his life due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound, would like one as well. This is a reason this keeps happening.”
Another wrote: “I don’t think the idea of Santa needing a handgun is as uplifting as you think it is.”
The El Paso sheriff’s office said that it had “intended to highlight our staff in the concealed handgun permit office, not to be insensitive.
“Santa correlates to the month of December and we thought he would help to recognize our hard working staff.”
A day after the post from the El Paso sheriff’s office, the Kentucky Republican congressman Thomas Massie posted a picture of himself and what appeared to be his family, smiling and posing with various guns.
“Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo,” Massie tweeted. The post met with criticism from Democratic and Republican politicians alike, for being insensitive so soon after the Oxford High School shooting.