Tech & Science

Jay Feeley Responds to Prom Gun Photo, Says It Wasn't Loaded

Jay Feely, a former American football player who ended his career with the Chicago bears in 2014, posted an image Saturday of him holding a gun while standing with his daughter and her prom date. The image caused controversy for being in bad taste with the current climate on gun control, but Feely later responded, insisting the image was a joke and that he respects gun safety.

"Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom #BadBoys," Feely tweeted.

Not long after Feely posted the image on Twitter Saturday, the image became the center of Twitter arguments on the importance of gun safety. Many tweeted the photo seemed to be a lackadaisical way to make light of such a serious issue. Others argued that it was not so much that Feely posted an image of a gun but rather that he did it in the presence of high school students. This comes only two months after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida where 17 individuals were killed during a mass shooting.

Related: Gun Control Laws: These Are The Measures Americans Support

In a response to the controversy, Feely stated that the image was indeed meant as a joke.

“My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking,” Feely tweeted. “I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue.”

Many backed Feely, tweeting that the photo was obviously a joke and not an example of poor gun safety practices.

Related: Support For Stricter Gun Control Laws Reaches 25-Year High

Under current federal laws, the minimum age to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer is 21. However, you can purchase a gun at 18 if the gun is bought from a private, unlicensed seller. This includes a friend, online buyer or seller at a gun show, The Hill reported. In addition to federal gun laws, each state has its own set of gun laws. Currently, California has the most restrictive gun laws in the country while Arizona, Feely’s home state, has the least strict, according to The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign's " 2013 State Scorecard.

In light of the recent mass shooting in the U.S., including many which took place at schools, there has been a heated debated on whether it's time to revise gun laws in order to instill stricter screenings on who can and cannot legally purchase a firearm. A March poll from Quinnipiac University revealed that 65 percent of Americans support having stricter gun laws in the U.S — a record high for this particular poll.

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