Santas with guns draw fire in California, Canada (VIDEO)

Two separate Santa-themed pro-gun ads are being criticized for mixing firearms and the holiday spirit, one over a billboard outside Chico, California and the other on the Canadian National Firearms Association Facebook page.

The billboard, put up by the Down Range Indoor Training Center, shows a gruff-looking Santa in black shades holding up an even blacker rifle and reads “We build AR’s [sic] for Santa.” While the ad has its critics, range co-owner Steve Dyke said the feedback has been mostly positive.

“Well, you know, some people get toys and stuff like that for Christmas. Other people, when I was growing up, I got guns from Santa Claus. I mean, it’s just a matter of where you’re from,” Dyke told CBS Sacremento.

“Obviously, Santa Claus is synonymous with Christmas,” he said. “We actually thought got a kick out of it — thought it would be good and other people would think it was funny.”

dont shoot your eye out nfa no compromise

Meanwhile online the Canadian National Firearms Association is taking heat for its Santa-based promise of AR-15 cheer on Facebook. The gun rights organization put up a classic-looking portrait of Santa handing a very happy boy a rifle with the classic warning, “Don’t shoot your eye out, kid!”

The campaign struck a nerve with Canadians who saw the picture as irresponsible, not just because it’s Santa giving guns to a kid but also because in Canada, the AR-15 is a restricted firearm.

Like with Down Range the National Firearms Association received praise in addition to scorn with comments including “I don’t see a problem — we hid behind our skirts too long — we already know the anti-firearms people are going to go after law abiding gun owners no matter what we say. Might as well have some fun with it and stick a thumb in their eye along the way,” The Province reports.

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