The Duggar family, which rose to stardom on the TLC reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” has raised eyebrows in recent days over a listing photo showing an arsenal of guns in a family-owned property.
The photo is part of a listing for a $1.45 million home currently for sale in Springdale, Arkansas. The home spans more than 10,000 square feet and includes features such as a theater, multiple remodeled kitchens, LED lighting and other high-end finishes.
However, one of the final photos in the listing — which is visible on Realtor.com and other websites — shows off eight rifles, one of which appears to be an AR-style assault weapon. The guns are mounted on the wall of what appears to be a dedicated weapons storage room.
Parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar — who with their 19 children spent years as TLC stars before their family-themed show was cancelled in 2017 — reportedly bought the home for $230,000 in November 2014.
Though the listing has been active since early May, and the weapons room was mentioned in some initial coverage of the house and the Duggars, it has more recently generated controversy on social media. Specifically, a Duggar-themed Facebook page with more than 46,000 likes posted about the room earlier this month, speculating that it could be “another Waco set up?”
Comments on the Facebook post have subsequently described the gun room as “creepy,” “truly disturbing” and “super concerning,” among other things.
Though the Facebook page itself appears to be primarily dedicated to criticizing the Duggar family, and many of the comments regarding the listing had to do more with critiques of the home’s design, the story was nonetheless picked up by a handful of entertainment-oriented websites such as Radar Online.
However, Inman spoke Friday with the listing agent for the property, April Hamm of Keller Williams, who said that in fact the Duggars never actually lived in the house, the guns are merely part of the staging and that there are a number of reasons they were included. For instance, the home is located in an area where hunting is popular, and many prospective buyers that Hamm has worked with in the past are gun owners.
“There’s a lot of hunting here, so people want that as something that’s a huge selling point,” Hamm said of a room to store weapons.
Hamm also said that the room includes a camera, a bank vault-type door and other security features. There is no way, she added, that children could accidentally get into the room.
Hamm described the home as an investment. The Duggars worked with a designer, but did the labor for an extensive remodel themselves — and never lived on the property.
Both Jim Bob and Michelle are also licensed real estate agents and have a history of buying and selling property. In May, a family representative told People that they “like flipping houses” and “the construction business.”
Hamm also said that prior to speaking with Inman she was not aware of any pushback regarding the home or the photo that includes the rifles. She described the focus on the room as unfortunate given that there are numerous other features spread across the home’s 10,000 square feet.
She also said that there has been a significant amount of interest in the property since it went on the market.
“There has been lots of out of state interest,” Hamm said. “We’ve had an unbelievable amount of exposure.”
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