Duggar Family Ignites Heated Gun Debate With Controversial Photo of Son Jedidiah, 16

TLC's Duggar family ignited controversy when they posted a photo of 16-year-old Jedidiah posing with a gun on Christmas Credit: Courtesy of Jedidiah Duggar

The Duggars have found themselves at the center of yet another controversy. Shortly before ringing in 2015, the 19 Kids and Counting stars shared several photos from their recent Christmas celebration, including a snap of son Jedidiah, 16, posing inside the family home with one of his presents: a black shotgun.

Fans of the Duggars' official Facebook page were quick to respond to the picture, sparking a heated debate over gun safety and the right to bear arms. 

"Worst present ever," one commenter wrote. "I don't care how much gun safety they teach their kids. All it takes is one time of not locking it up properly for one of the dozens of curious young kids in that house to get a hold of it and have an accident. Why take that chance?"

Added another: "It doesn't matter if this rifle issued for hunting...To glamorize a weapon on a Facebook page during a moment where children are being shot by police for brandishing airsoft guns and our country is being brainwashed into increased militarism is IRRESPONSIBLE."

Others rushed to the Duggars' defense, citing their own experiences with guns and pointing out that the TLC reality stars are big proponents of gun safety.

"What's wrong with this country? People that complain about this picture!!" one fan argued. "Gun use and safety starts at home!! Proud American right there!"

Added someone else: "Parents who are responsible teach their children gun safety for a reason. To be the next generation of responsible gun owners. This is a great gift for a young man (or woman) who knows safety and can shoot."

Incidentally, this is not the first time in recent months that one of the Duggar kids has come under fire for posing with a gun. Back in June 2014, Jessa's husband, Ben Seewald — then her boyfriend — posted a picture of her holding a pink-trimmed assault rifle in a gun store, setting off a storm of reactions online.

The Duggars have yet to comment on the controversy on any of their social media accounts.