As the world takes to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on Boxing Day to show off its Christmas presents, it seems one gift in particular is standing out.

It looks like Santa was pretty generous doling out AR-15 style rifles this year, the weapon used in the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and the Aurora theatre massacre.

While Americans used social media to reveal their potentially lethal stocking fillers, it emerged the rush on guns and ammunition sales spiked to "unprecedented" levels ahead of Christmas Day.

Scroll down for more tweets

Joe Kemp
Well, my 10 year old cousin got brass knuckles and an AR-15 for Christmas...pretty jealous actually.

❤Jennifer Nicole❤
I got an AR15 for Christmas! Thanks daddy :) he knows how much I love my guns!

Sara Lynn
Can’t wait for my husband to open his Xmas gift! Bought him an AR15 before they are all banned! !

AR-15 weapons accessorised in pink and even leopard print were pictured being proudly brandished under the Christmas tree, three days after the last of the funerals of the Sandy Hook victims, of which 20 were children.

As The Verge points out: "The glee exhibited over gun gifts is a striking contrast to the outpouring of sympathy, horror, and anti-gun activism shared on social networks in recent weeks following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, and a sign that the country could have a long road ahead in resolving one of its most deeply divisive culture wars."

Brownells, the world's largest supplier of firearm accessories and supplies, released a statement on a forum for gun enthusiasts, apologising for the delay in fulfilling orders of assault weapon magazines, explaining that the company had experienced "unprecedented" demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines in the run up to Christmas.

ar15 gun

AR-15 style rifles are this season's 'must-have' gift, apparently

Brownells' president Pete Brownell wrote on that the company has sold about 3.5 years worth of magazines in 72 hours, adding that the company is "working like crazy to get these orders to [customers] as quickly as possible."

Corpus noted that Brownells' 30- and 20-round magazines are selling quickly, and they've had to order more materials to keep up with the production demand.

In the days following the shooting, gun sales have risen dramatically. Paul Marquardt, owner of ArmsX, a Connecticut-based gun store near Sandy Hook Elementary, told The Huffington Post that the wait-time on the day after the shooting for a background check was nearly an hour - the longest wait-time he’s ever seen.

The AR-15 style rifle accounted for more than 25 percent of ArmsX’s recent sales, he said.

christmas message from ar15

A Christmas message from the team at

The "threat of regulation has dramatically upset the normal flow of production and distribution," according to, and gun enthusiasts are continuing to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition while they can.

2012 was already a record year for gun sales before the shooting in Newtown on December 14, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who recorded more than 16.8 million background checks for guns purchased this year.

And since the FBI does not actually track the number of firearms purchased, the number of weapons sold could be even higher than the number of background-check calls, since customers can purchase multiple guns, according to USA Today.

And what did YOU get for Christmas?

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Saying it with guns is not a new development by any means. Check out some of the vintage ads for American gun makers below:

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  • Christmas Ad for Daisy Rifles (1972)

    <i>A Christmas Story</i> <a href="">this is not</a>.

  • "A Hi-Standard For Christmas" (1957)

  • Iver Johnson Revolvers (1904)

    Iver Johnson guns were used in the assassinations of both <a href="">Robert F. Kennedy</a> and president <a href="">William F. McKinley</a>.

  • Savage Arms Co. Ad for the Savage Automatic (1914)

    "Is your wife helpless -- or dangerous -- in these times when <i>more idlers</i> make more <i>brutes</i> and more <i>thugs</i>?"

  • Crosman Pellguns (1959)

    St. Louis Cardinals legend and MLB Hall of Famer Stan Musial <a href="">advertised for Crosman Pellguns</a> in the 1950's.

  • Winchester Rifle Ad (1958)

    "<a href="">Give him year 'round fun</a>...for years to come."

  • Remington Single Shot Rifles (1903)

    "The simplicity of the <a href="">Remington action</a> insures safety and saves repair bills."

  • Remington .22 Repeater (1910's)

    "Insure against a dull vacation: pack a <a href=""">Remington .22 Repeater</a> in your grip and half a dozen boxes of UMC .22 shorts."

  • Winchester Calendar (1917)

    What's manlier than taming -- or <a href="">possibly punching</a> -- a horse while your friend holds a severed deer head?

  • Winchester Calendar (1917)

    <a href="">An epic battle</a> pitting man on horseback with a gun versus a bear...on the edge of a cliff!

  • Daisy Air Rifles (1930s)

    "Get year 'round fun with your Christmas money...<a href="">get a Daisy</a>."

  • Remington Kleaborne Cartridges Ad (1933)

    "What a man, Jimmy, <a href="">what a man</a>!"

  • Rheingold Beer with Duck Hunting Shotgun (1957)

  • Colt Match Target Woodsman Pistol (1951)

  • Action Arms Ltd. Uzi Ad (Late 1980's)

  • .41 Smith & Wesson Ad (Undated)

    "When it's you or him..."

  • Colt Guns Christmas Ad (1939)

    "Isn't it time you <a href="">gave <i>yourself</i> a Christmas gift</a>?"

  • Winchester .22 (Undated)

    "<a href="">Start him right</a> -- right now."

  • Daisy Air Rifle Ad (Undated)

    "Mothers, as well as fathers, now generally recognize that this training makes for character and manliness."

  • Daisy Air Rifle Ad (1968)

  • Winchester Model 75 .22 Target Rifle Boy Scout Ad (1944)

    "Every boy <a href="">has his hero</a>."