- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

CHICO, Calif. — A billboard showing Santa Claus carrying an automatic rifle is drawing controversy in a Northern California town.

The billboard put up on the outskirts of Chico comes with the slogan “We build AR’s for Santa,” and advertises for a gun range that assembles such weapons for sale.

The gun range owners told Action News Now they didn’t intend to make the ad offensive. They said some people give guns as Christmas presents, and they put the ad up along a highway on the outskirts of town to draw attention to their fledgling business.

One resident said juxtaposing a symbol of joy and giving with a weapon is “just so contradictory.” Another woman said she wouldn’t want her son to see Santa holding a gun.

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