Photo of Santa applying for gun permit causes controversy

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office posted a picture that has caused backlash online.

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The photo, posted by the sheriff’s Twitter account, shows a bearded man in a red suit sitting at a desk. The photo is accompanied by text reading: “Guess who came in to receive his Concealed Handgun Permit today?” The post includes a Santa Claus emoji.

Within five hours, the tweet received over 550 comments, many arguing the photo was inappropriate, with one man saying his child is now scared of Santa, KDVR reported.

The sheriff’s office responded with another tweet, saying “EPSO 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 hardworking staff.”