PHOENIX, AZ (KPNX) When Jonathan Pring posted images on Facebook showing the moment he went from being a current gun owner to a former gun owner, he knew he’d get some response.
What he didn’t expect was for the post to go viral.
“I didn’t wake up yesterday planning to become the local Phoenix poster child for the American gun debate,” Pring said.
The pictures show Pring willingly handing over his firearms, which included a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol, to a uniformed Phoenix police officer in the living room of his Phoenix home.
Pring, who’s a dual citizen of the U.S. and Great Britain, said he called the department’s non-emergency number asking to hand over his guns to them after watching the horror unfold in Las Vegas this week.
The Facebook post was shared hundreds then thousands of times.
“The first thousand people that commented on it were supporters: ‘I’m so proud of you.’ ‘What a great thing you’ve done,'” Pring said. “And then it got really quite scary.”
He said the comments picked up in pace and became overwhelmingly negative, including some death threats.
“As a result we’ve left Phoenix for a few days,” Pring said.
The backlash also led Pring to take down the post all together.
“I tried to be diplomatic in what I wrote,” he said. “I didn’t want to alienate people and I didn’t want to make this about me.”
While he’s disappointed how things turned out, Pring said he still doesn’t regret giving up his guns.