Arizona is starting the holiday season off with a bang.
A Scottsdale gun club is now offering families to pose for Christmas photos with jolly ol’ Saint Nick, armed with military-style rifles, the Associated Press reported. Released photos from the gun club show Santa with a festive backdrop in the midst of smiling children, a Christmas tree and an $80,000 rifle. Some parents who decided to join in on the holiday cheer are photographed with unloaded AR-15s, grenade launchers and ammunition hung like tinsel around their necks.
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The Scottsdale Gun Club manager Ron Kennedy says the idea was inspired by members last Christmas who wanted to take photos with Santa Claus while holding their guns, the AP reported. The gun-toting Santa event was held Saturday and about 500 people showed up to take a total of 150 photos. Another photo opportunity event is scheduled, too.
"Our customers have been looking for a fun and safe way to express their holiday spirit and passion for firearms," said Kennedy, noting people have used the photos for Christmas cards and Facebook posts, the AP reported.
This year the gun club doubled their rate to $10 a photo with Santa and an AK, the Daily Mail reported. Last year hundreds of people showed up at the club when word spread of the Christmas card photo shot, with only one person turning down the option to hold a gun while posing with Kris Kringle, the Daily Mail reported.
“There's a huge community that's interested in firearms as a sport and a hobby,” club member Jennifer Dove said, the Daily Mail reported. “There's no reason they can't express their holiday spirit and their passion for that hobby.”