CHICO (CBS/AP) — A billboard showing Santa Claus carrying an automatic rifle is drawing controversy in a Northern California town.

The billboard put up on the outskirts of Chico comes with the slogan “We build AR’s for Santa,” and advertises for a gun range that assembles such weapons for sale.

READ MORE: 2 Officers Shot, Suspect Dead In San Luis Obispo

The gun range owners said they didn’t intend to make the ad offensive. They said some people give guns as Christmas presents, and they put the ad up along California Highway 99, on the outskirts of town, to draw attention to their fledgling business.

“And you know, ’tis the season, so we thought it would be a good idea,” said Steve Dyke, co-owner of Down Range Indoor Training Center. Dyke says like it or not, the Santa ad is staying up.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Crews Near Containment On Grass Fire Burning Near Bay Shoreline In San Rafael

One resident said juxtaposing a symbol of joy and giving with a weapon is “just so contradictory.” Another woman said she wouldn’t want her son to see Santa holding a gun.

“Obviously, Santa Claus is synonymous with Christmas,” said Dyke. “We actually got a kick out of it — thought it would be good and other people would think it was funny.”

Billboards are banned within Chico city limits. However, that doesn’t apply to the gun range since it’s technically outside town.

MORE NEWS: Rate Hikes Loom After Newsom Expands Drought Declaration To Include Third of California

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report