A local gun club in Scottsdale, Arizona is hosting an event for parents and their children to pose for pictures with Santa Claus while holding machine guns they would not be allowed to legally own. Even toddlers are permitted to hold high-powered firearms in the photos. Organizers say the event has so far attracted hundreds of participants.
The Scottsdale Gun Club advertises the event as "a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be photographed next to Santa while against a backdrop of a stunning $80,000 Garwood mini-gun and SGC's coolest belt fed machine guns including the M60, M249 and M240." The photos are $5 for club members and $10 for non-members.
A caption on the club's website reads: "Santa's Back With His Bag Of goodies. Get Your Holiday Picture With Santa & His Machine Guns!"
Club member Jennifer Dove told the Daily Mail that out of the hundreds of attendees at a similar event last year, only one participant declined the option of having their child pose with a gun:
"There's a huge community that's interested in firearms as a sport and a hobby," Dove said. "There's no reason they can't express their holiday spirit and their passion for that hobby." The club's general manager Ron Kennedy added: "Our members and guests enjoyed the concept and we are delighted to bring it back again this Holiday season."
Arizona has been no stranger to controversial gun stories this year, including both the attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the "Fast and Furious" federal gun smuggling case.
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