Colorado Sheriff’s Office Criticized for Posting Photo of Santa Getting Concealed Handgun Permit

A sheriff’s office in Colorado drew sharp criticism for posting a photo of a man dressed up as Santa Claus applying for a concealed handgun permit.

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, based in Colorado Springs, posted on Twitter on Dec. 3 a photo of “Santa” with the caption, “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?” the Sheriff’s Office further wrote, adding a link to its website on how to apply for the permit.

By Dec. 6, social media users shared the post over 5,000 times, many of whom condemned the post for being insensitive as it came days after 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley killed four students and injured seven others, including a teacher, at the Michigan high school shooting.

“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,” a social media user wrote.

“Posting this tells me your professional judgment is impaired,” another user wrote.

“What is your message to children here? Santa has a legally concealed weapon? For protection against elves, reindeer, children who take a peek on [Christmas] eve? There is enough anxiety among children already,” the user added.

The Sheriff’s Office said that the post was 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 hardworking staff,” the Sheriff’s Office added.

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