COLORADO SPRINGS — On Friday, Dec. 3, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office tweeted a photo of Santa Claus receiving his concealed carry permit.
However, it quickly started receiving hundreds of comments from people who said they considered the tweet insensitive, given the recent Michigan school shooting.
The office later responded saying the tweet was never meant to be insensitive, but that it was intended to highlight the hardworking staff, adding that Santa correlated to December.
This circumstance brought forward questions of gun ownership during this holiday season, as well as the responsibilities that come with owning a gun.
According to the sheriff’s office, it has issued nearly 50,000 concealed handgun permits, and around 2,500 are still under review for this year.
Isaac Chase, co-founder of Guns for Everyone, said that gun permits alone have increased over this past year as well.
“Uncertainty always gets people more interested in protecting themselves,” Chase said. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen an increase in crime in the Colorado Springs area.”
With the holidays coming up and many still figuring out what to give their loved ones, Chase said a popular item on many people’s wish list is a gun.
“It’s really important that people understand that there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that. Especially if you plan to use the gun to defend yourself or keep it in the home when you have children in the home,” Chase said.
Children obtaining guns from their parents is still fresh in people’s minds, according to the responses under the sheriff’s office tweet. In response, Chase reiterated the importance of understanding the potential danger involved.
“It’s ultimately every parents’ responsibility to keep their household safe and their children safe, and so we really stress that for families in here not to underestimate their children and not to underestimate the risk they’re taking,” Chase said.
FOX21 reached out to EPSO, but the office said it was unable to comment.