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Santa is packing gifts for the good kids and coal for the bad ones. Does he also need to be packing heat?
Internet users are tearing into the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado, after it jokingly tweeted a photo of Santa getting a gun permit.
"Guess who came in to receive his Concealed Handgun Permit today?" the sheriff's office tweeted.
Guess who came in to receive his Concealed Handgun Permit today? nnDid you know the El Paso County Sheriff's Office has issued 49,750 Concealed Handgun Permits with another 2,560 awaiting to be issued?nnFor more info please visit our website: nhttps://www.epcsheriffsoffice.com/services/concealed-handgun-permitu00a0u2026pic.twitter.com/ELmffXcfjA
— EPCSheriff (@EPCSheriff)
The tweet went out three days after a 15-year-old killed four people and injured seven at a school in Michigan, and it was way too soon for many people on social media.
"Disgusting," one critic wrote in the replies. "Those interacting [with] kids have no place carrying concealed handguns."
The comments quickly turned into a fight over U.S. gun rights before the sheriff's department limited replies.
But that didn't stop people from retweeting the image with their own remarks.
"'You better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why,' hits different," The Daily Show tweeted.
"Welcome to America where even magical beings apparently need a gun," YouTuber Beau of The Fifth Column wrote.
There were also plenty of "WTF" reactions in the comments and retweets.
Santa and the sheriff's office aren't the only ones to get in trouble for a Christmas gun photo. GOP lawmaker Thomas Massie also faced backlash this weekend after he shared a photo of himself and his family toting guns in front of a Christmas tree.
"Santa, please bring ammo," he wrote.
Merry Christmas! nps. Santa, please bring ammo. pic.twitter.com/NVawULhCNr
— Thomas Massie (@Thomas Massie)
The El Paso County Sheriff's office didn't quite apologize for its own festive misfire, but it did acknowledge the backlash in a follow-up tweet. It said the original post was meant "to highlight our staff in the Concealed Handgun Permit Office, not to be insensitive."
Police went on to explain that "Santa correlates to the month of December, and we thought he would help to recognize our hard working staff."
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