A US congressman has posted a picture of himself and others smiling and holding guns around a Christmas tree, just days after four teenagers were killed in a shooting at a Michigan high school.
"Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo," US Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Massie, who represents a solidly Republican district, and his family can be seen in the photo holding firearms resembling an M60 machine gun, AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a Thompson submachine gun.
Under US law, weapons such as machine guns are restricted to the military, law enforcement and civilians who have obtained special licenses for weapons made before May 1986.
Democratic US Representative John Yarmuth, who chairs the US House of Representatives Budget Committee, condemned his fellow Kentuckian's post.
"I’m old enough to remember Republicans screaming that it was insensitive to try to protect people from gun violence after a tragedy," Yarmuth wrote on Twitter, apparently referring to calls for gun control laws.
"I promise not everyone in Kentucky is an insensitive a------," he added.
This comes after on Tuesday, a student, 15, carried out the deadliest US school shooting this year, the latest in a decades-long series of mass shootings at US schools.
Ethan Crumbley opened fire using a semiautomatic handgun at a high school in rural Michigan, killing four students and injuring seven others including one teacher.
Massie, who appears to be holding a light machine gun in the photo, has been a staunch supporter of gun rights.
Last January, he gave a speech at the state Capitol building in Frankfort and at one point he waved his gun in front of the rallygoers.
“Don’t tell me nobody wants to take your guns," he said. "There are people right here in Frankfort who want to take your guns.”
After he posted the photo on Saturday, Fred Guttenberg, an activist against gun violence, replied with a photo of his daughter, who was killed in the Parkland school shooting in Florida in 2018.
.@RepThomasMassie, since we are sharing family photos, here are mine. One is the last photo that I ever took of Jaime, the other is where she is buried because of the Parkland school shooting.— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 4, 2021
The Michigan school shooter and his family used to take photos like yours as well. pic.twitter.com/MsQWneJXAp
"The Michigan school shooter and his family used to take photos like yours as well."