LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas gun range has canceled its second “Photos With Santa and His AR-15’s” event, even though it did not cancel the first one held a day after the Connecticut shootings.
Santa’s second visit to the Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville was scheduled for Friday, December 21, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The group, Lipstick and Lead, in partnership with the gun range, hosted the same event last Saturday afternoon, a day after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.
The event offered an opportunity to “choose from a variety of ornaments — from handguns, BB guns, .22 rifles, to modified AR-15’s — then sit on Santa’s lap,” according to a press release.
The press release also stated this weekend’s Santa photo-op was canceled “in light of last week’s event.”
However, when directly asked if the Newtown shootings prompted its cancellation, Shellee Enfinger (Lipstick and Lead co-owner) said the owners of the gun range, “did not give a reason. With everything that’s happened they just wanted to cancel because things are so sensitive.”
The gun range website features several events including ladies nights, youth club events, and birthday parties, where children as young as 8 can learn how to shoot a BB gun or a .22 rifle with a certified NRA Firearms Instructor.
“They have birthday parties there because they do believe in training children,” said Enfinger.
David Prince, owner of the Eagle Gun Range says his heart goes out to the victims of the Connecticut shootings and can see how some people may have found the event insensitive.
However, he says, “People went shopping the next day. People went hunting the next day, and people were here shooting the next day.” He added, “We gave them a choice. Families that love shooting together had a choice to pose with Santa.”
“This is a gun range. We think guns are great. We think families are great. We think Christmas is great. We are not ashamed of any of those things.”
Prince says he respects other people’s beliefs and feelings, but believes that forcing those beliefs on other families is not a good thing.
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