The El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado said it did not intend to be "insensitive" after it shared a photo depicting Santa Claus getting a concealed handgun permit.
The department in a statement it wanted to "highlight our staff in the Concealed Handgun Permit Office."
The post came three days after four students were killed in a school shooting in Michigan.
A Colorado sheriff's office said it did not intend to be "insensitive" after it shared a photo depicting Santa Claus applying for a concealed handgun permit days after four students were killed in a shooting at a Michigan high school.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office shared the photo of a man dressed as Santa applying for a concealed handgun permit on December 3, just three days after four students, aged 14 to 17, were killed after police say a 15-year-old opened fire at Oxford High School in Michigan.
"Guess who came in to receive his Concealed Handgun Permit today?" the sheriff's office said in a tweet. "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?"
—EPCSheriff (@EPCSheriff) December 3, 2021
Hundreds of people replied to the post, many of whom pointed out the post came only days after the Michigan high school shooting. Hours later, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office appeared to apologize.
"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 hard working staff," the office said in a tweet.
It was not the only gun-related social media post many found insensitive following the shooting at Oxford High School.
On December 4, Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie posted a holiday photo of his family posing with guns and asking Santa for ammunition. Many criticized the post as insensitive, including Manuel Oliver, whose 17-year-old son died in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, Insider's Kelsey Vlamis reported.
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