Jingle bells and shotgun shells?

One Arizona gun club is offering pictures with Santa and your favorite firearms. / Courtesy: Scottsdale Gun Club

An Arizona gun club is offering a unique and somewhat controversial alternative to the traditional picture with Santa Claus. The Scottsdale Gun Club is offering a chance for children and families to pose with Santa while holding pistols and military-style riffles.

For example, One image shows Santa in a wingback chair with a snowflake background, a Christmas tree behind him and flanked by an $80,000 machine gun and a tripod-mounted rifle. Next to Santa is a man standing behind a boy, who is holding an unloaded AR-15 with an attached grenade launcher.

Ron Kennedy, general manager of the Scottsdale Gun Club, said the business got the idea for the photos last year when a club member happened to come in dressed as Santa and other members wanted their picture taken while they were holding their guns. Our customers have been looking for a fun and safe way to express their holiday spirit and passion for firearms, said Kennedy. About 500 people showed up to the event Saturday to take a total of 150 photos when the first of two such events was launched.

Democratic state Rep. Steve Farley, who proposed an unsuccessful ban on large-capacity gun magazines like the one used in the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson that killed six people and wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, said the gun club TMs photo op was 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, said Farley. I would suggest that the people who created this read some of the New Testament.

Kennedy said the club is simply trying to provide a safe holiday event that TMs an expression of their passions. It TMs more of a celebration of their Second Amendment rights, Kennedy said.

What are your thoughts on these Santa pictures? Are they inappropriate? Leave your comments with us.