Celebrating Christmas with a bang: Americans pose happily by the tree with guns they were given as gifts despite wake of deadly shootingsNumerous Americans take to social networking sites to display the guns they received as Christmas presents
The AR-15 was used in Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora Colorado, shootings as well as the deadly Christmas Eve ambush on Webster, New York, firefighters
15:09 GMT, 26 December 2012
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.'
Packing heat: 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
Just what I wanted: 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 new toys
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 social networking trend, was first reported by TheVerge.com with pictures following in The Atlantic Wire, amid a heated debate over gun control – especially with assault weapons.
Jubilant: In the wake of several shooting incidents, Twitter and Instagram users posted shots of themselves with weapons they got for Christmas
Striking a pose: 'Furs & guns, yes, it was a redneck Christmas,' said this Instagram user
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.
Weapon of choice: High-powered assault rifles like the one pictured here were seemingly a popular holiday gift
Arms: An assault rifle like the one pictured here was 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
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.'
Rise: The demand for assault rifles and ammunition has been unprecedented in the wake of the killings in Newtown, Connecticut
Bad timing: A surge in sales of high-powered weapons and ammunition has been reported since the Sandy Hook massacre