A SENIOR Tory councillor has apologised after posing on social media with an assault rifle.

Graeme McGinnigle, the vice convener of education on East Dunbartonshire Council, used the AR-15 semi-automatic at a shooting range in Prague last weekend.

The National's sister paper, The Herald, reported McGinnigle was pictured standing in front of shredded targets, the floor around him strewn with bullet casings.

The SNP said it was “shocking” for someone in charge of schools to do anything that would glorify guns.

East Dunbartonshire Council has a memorandum of understanding with Police Scotland on how to keep pupils safe from knives and other weapons in its schools.

Its strongly-worded ‘Anti-weapon/knife crime in schools guidance’ states: “Schools will urge parents to encourage their children to share information when they know someone else is carrying a weapon.”

McGinnigle’s picture was posted on Twitter on Tuesday by a friend, Andrew James Lawson, who was also at the indoor Shooting Range Prague facility.

Lawson wrote next to the snap: “Great trip to Prague with this amazing bunch.

“Looking forward to our next adventure.”

McGinnigle then retweeted the image himself by replying “Pleasure as always pal”.

The leader of the Tory group on North Lanarkshire Council, Meghan Gallacher, who was also on the trip but not pictured with a gun, replied: “Loved every second of it.”

Gallacher is a supporter of Scottish Tory leadership candidate Jackson Carlaw and attended his campaign launch this week.

An SNP spokesperson said: “People will be shocked to see a Tory politician glorifying gun use. It’s not only crass, but does huge damage to the victims of gun violence and their families.

“Mr McGinnigle should reflect on just how insensitive this stunt was – and both Tory leadership candidates must condemn this behaviour.”

A Scottish Tory spokesman said: “Cllr McGinnigle was on holiday in Prague and visited a perfectly legitimate tourist attraction.

“Of course he intended no offence by doing this, and would apologise to anyone genuinely upset by it. He is as serious about clamping down on violent crime as anyone.”

In 2008, the SNP suspended then Glasgow councillor Jahangir Hanif after video emerged of him showing his five-year-old daughter how to fire an AK47 assault rifle in Pakistan.