Dec 24, 2015 6:02 PM by News Staff, Photo: Steve Dyke
The Chico billboard that made national headlines last year because it featured Santa Claus holding an AR-15 was vandalized sometime Wednesday night.
Since being erected by Down Range Indoor Training Center last year, the billboard has been shared around the world and elicited a variety of reactions.
Some Chico residents said juxtaposing a symbol of joy and giving with a weapon is contradictory, and others said they would never want their children to see Santa holding a gun.
Gun Range owners Steve Dyke and Will Clark said the attention they received in 2014 was great for business. The billboards also caught the attention of other gun shop owners, in 2015 copy cat Santa's were seen on billboards in Phoenix, AZ and Charlotte, NC among other places.
Dyke shared a photo of the vandalism on Action News Now’s Facebook page Thursday, “Down Range is sad to report someone is getting coal in their stocking tonight!” Dyke wrote.
Down Range put up three Santa signs this year, the one that was vandalized reads “Your Christmas Tree is NOT a Gun FREE ZONE.”
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