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Photo of Santa-lookalike getting handgun permit prompts backlash on El Paso County Sheriff’s social media pages

EPC Sheriff's Office

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Whether or not Santa Claus needs a handgun in 2021 is a much larger issue, but a social media post by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office featuring a Santa lookalike obtaining a concealed handgun permit received hundreds of comments questioning the timing and sensitivity of the post.

The photo was posted to the sheriff's office's Facebook and Twitter pages around noon Friday, but it received near-immediate backlash on Twitter.

The man seen in the above photo wasn't identified by the sheriff's office, but the sheriff's office didn't hesitate to point out his resemblance to the fictional Western Christian character.

Many of the comments questioned the sheriff's office's use of a children's figure to appear to support handguns.

After several hundred people criticized the post, the sheriff's office issued a response saying, "EPSO intended to highlight our staff in the Concealed Handgun Permit Office, not to be insensitive."

The sheriff's office also said in a response that, "Santa correlates to the month of December and we thought he would help to recognize our hard-working staff."

We reached out to a spokesperson with the sheriff's office Friday afternoon. The sheriff's office responded with the following statement:

The EPSO intended to highlight our staff (sharing stats) in the Concealed Handgun Permit Office, we certainly did not intend this to be insensitive in any way. Santa correlates to the month of December and we thought he would help to recognize our hard working staff.
We have received a number of requests on how to obtain a concealed handgun permit; This was a way to not only share stats but to share information (a link to our website) on how to do so.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for Learn more about Andrew here.



    1. No. You eliminate the problem with a gun. Very smart. Alive or Dead? Not that hard of a decision for me.

    1. What is with all the right wingers being so afraid of everything? Afraid of brown people, afraid of needles, afraid of facts. Maybe the GOP should change their mascot from an elephant to a scardy cat.

      1. Left-wingers: “Anyone who needs a gun for protection is just living in fear.”

        Also left-wingers: “Gun control! Gun control! We need more gun control to protect us from all the scary guns!”

    2. “I saw Mommy shooting Santa Claus…underneath the mistletoe last night!” Who could blame her? She saw a gun in his pocket, and he was trying to get in the house.

      Somebody ought to be in big trouble for damaging the Christ-centered holiday spirit around here. Waiting to hear the outrage from the Christian right. No? Hmmm.

  1. Not afraid of brown people, needles, facts or even Democrats. Just wary of people like you and nogods who believe your way is the only way. If I choose to have a gun, that’s my choice. If I choose to get a shot, that’s my choice. If I choose to believe what is fact, that is my choice. It’s not up to you or anyone else to decide what is and what is not good for me. It’s ok to have a difference of opinion. The problem comes when you try to start forcing your beliefs on others.

    1. Lol. We don’t get to choose our facts. That’s called delusion.

      But I doubt you know the difference anymore.

  2. Very cool Santa. Especially in the Springs. You make the #Karens mad because you have a gun.

  3. Good for Santa, the dems are ruining Colorado so not only should he be armed but all citizens should be, f the dems.

  4. “Lighten up, Francis”

    Absolutely nothing wrong here. Thanks, EPCSO for managing this program.

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