Kim Kardashian has caused outrage after posting a photo of a jewel-encrusted hand gun online.

The reality star, who is expecting her first child with rapper boyfriend Kanye West, sparked controversy when she shared the picture of the pistol on her Twitter account on Saturday (02.02.13) - just weeks after she encouraged her followers to help fight against gun violence following the Sandy Hook massacre in December.

Kim, 32, was quick to delete the photo after users expressed their shock at her choice of photograph.

One user posted: ''Kim Kardashian is quite dense, isn't she? Pledging to support the gun control movement and then uploading pictures of designer handguns... (sic)''

Another wrote: ''@KimKardashian you were ''devasted'' about the tragedy in Newton but to show us a gun with diamonds its swaaag??? (sic)''

However, fans have rushed to Kim's defence and one insisted people should take into account the Second Amendment - the protection of people's rights to keep and bear firearms.

One posted: ''Kim Kardashian posted a pic of a gun on Instagram & now everyone is all pissed off. I forgot the 2nd amendment didn't count for celebs (sic)''

The brunette beauty addressed her followers in mid-January and asked them to sign the pledge against gun violence.

She posted: ''Today, people in Newtown are making the #sandyhookpromise to reduce gun violence. Sign the pledge with me.(sic)''

This isn't the first time Kim has shared a picture of a weapon, after having published a photo of her holding a designer Yves Saint Laurent gun last June alongside the caption ''bang, bang''.