An American company has given all of its employees handguns for Christmas.
BenShot, a rural Wisconsin company which sells glassware embedded with bullets, announced the gift on social media on Wednesday, creating heated discussion online.
“BenShot gave all employees handguns for Christmas. Cheers!” reads the post on Facebook.
Nineteen people – some gleeful, others indifferent or deadly serious – are pictured posing with handguns, rifles and machine guns.
“That is the scariest thing I have ever seen,” commented one person on Facebook.
Another wrote: “I am so proud of you for promoting our 2nd Amendment right!
“Despite the backlash you are going to be getting from the left, it shows you care about your employees and their safety! I wish my husband would follow your lead!”
Co-owner Ben Wolfgram reportedly told local media the decision was made to “promote personal safety and team building”.
He told the local Appleton Post-Crescent that two employees initially declined the gift but were reconsidering after taking a mandatory gun safety course all staff took before receiving the gift.
America has both the highest number of guns per 100 people and the most gun deaths per million people of any peaceful country in the world.
Nearly 34,000 Americans died from a gun in 2016. Roughly two-thirds involved a handgun and almost two-thirds were suicides.
Wolfgram told the Post-Crescent he was not concerned about violence because his employees all knew each other well.
He said: “For us, now, we have an entire armed staff. I think that’s pretty good.”