Santa Claus came to town – and he was packing heat – as numerous Americans were seen on social networks posing in front of their Christmas trees with the same assault rifle used by the gunmen in three recent bloody killings.
Grinning from ear-to-ear, those who received AR-15 assault rifles took to sites like Twitter and Instagram, posting photos of themselves with their brand new toys.
One Twitter user posted: ‘I got just what I wanted. An Armalite semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. It’s like the Christmas Story, but I’ll shoot more than my eye out.’
The post was in reference to the cult classic holiday film, which follows the life of a young boy who wants nothing but a BB gun for Christmas.
‘Furs & guns, yes, it was a redneck Christmas,’ said one jubilant Instagram user.
‘Don’t break into this house.’ said another.
The AR-15 was the weapon of choice for Sandy Hook massacre gunman Adam Lanza, who killed 27 people – including 20 children and his own mother – in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14.
The same weapon was used by William Spengler, who killed himself after murdering two firefighters and injuring two more as they responded to a blaze that he started in Webster, New York, on Christmas Eve.
The AR-15 was also used in James Holmes’ shooting spree during a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20.
This week, the world’s largest firearms dealer said it has sold 3.5 years of magazines for the AR-15 – in just three days, and were struggling to meet the demand.
Pete Brownell, president of Brownells ammunition supplier, made a public apology to gun owners for the delay in fulfilling orders of assault weapon magazines, explaining that the company had experienced ‘unprecedented’ demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines.
Brownell wrote that the company has sold about 3.5 years worth of magazines in 72 hours.
The statement, first reported by Huffington Post, was made on the web site AK15.com.
‘I wanted to take a minute to shed some insight on the magazine situation if i can. First of all I wanted to offer an apology for the situation,’ Brownell wrote in his post.
‘However, we’ve been receiving orders at such a pace that these transactions have gotten slower. We absolutely apologize again, we definitely don’t want that ever to be your experience,’ he added.
‘[Brownell’s] working like crazy to get these orders to [customers] as quickly as possible.’
Read more: dailymail.co.uk