The Scottsdale Gun Club is offering festive gun lovers a chance to have their photo taken with Santa and their weapon of choice.
The whole family is welcome to sit for a photograph with Santa and a variety of (unloaded) machine guns during designated Santa and Machine Guns holiday photo events.
A CBS news video shows what appears to be a Mom, Dad, and their young sons posing with assorted semiautomatic weapons around a man dressed in a Santa suit this past weekend.
It looks like they're holding Santa hostage, a news anchor said.
Roughly 500 people showed up to have their photos taken with Santa and his machine guns this Saturday, the first of two Scottsdale Gun Club holiday photo events. Another event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. A photo session, a print, and a digital copy runs members $5 and non-members $10.
The Scottsdale Gun Club is a gun retail and rental outfit, and features a 32-lane indoor shooting range. General manager Rob Kennedy told The Associated Press he got the idea for Santa and Machine Guns after a member wearing a Santa suit ambled into the gun club last year and prompted customers to request photos with Santa and their weapons.
Our customers have been looking for a fun and safe way to express their holiday spirit and passion for firearms, Kennedy told The AP, adding that customers have used the photos for holiday greeting cards and Facebook profile pictures.
It's more of a celebration of their Second Amendment rights, Kennedy said.
But not everyone is rejoicing.
Democratic Arizona state Rep. Steve Farley, who failed to pass a bill banning weapons with magazines that can hold ten or more rounds earlier this year, told The AP the holiday photo sessions were inappropriate.
To involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine, Farley said. I would suggest that the people who created this read some of the New Testament.
Kennedy told The AP that the unloaded weapons used in the photos are cleaned regularly and have their firing pins removed.