‘Flip or Flop’ Star Tarek El Moussa Slammed for Gun Ownership: ‘Idiot’

HGTV personality separated from his wife and co-star after incident involving firearm earlier this year

Tarek El Moussa and wife Christina on HGTV's "Flip or Flop"

Tarek El Moussa is having a tumultuous time of it, and certain denizens of social media aren’t making it any easier for him.

The “Flip or Flop” star, who announced his separation from his wife and co-star Christina El Moussa this week following an incident involving Tarek and a gun, was eviscerated online for having a firearm near a child.

In an Instagram post this week, El Moussa posted a photo of the book “10 Great Things Dads Do” by Rick Johnson. (The El Moussas have two children together, daughter Taylor and son Brayden.)

“Raising kids is the most important thing a parent can do. Like anything in life,” El Moussa wrote. “The harder you work at it the better they will be! I #LOVE THEM!”

Some commenters took the post as an opportunity to pounce on the reality TV star.

“Yea great job your [sic] a terrible father,” wrote one critic, who added, “Having guns around a child!”

Added another detractor, “Your [sic] a terrible person having guns around a child?!? Yoouuu idiot I hope you go to jail you no good sunuvabitch.”

In a statement issued to People on Monday, the stars of the HGTV series referenced the incident while announcing their split.

“Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage,” the statement read. “We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution. There was no violence and no charges were filed.”

According to the El Moussas, they broke up following a May incident during which law enforcement responded to a call of a “possibly suicidal male with a gun.” The call was made after Tarek retrieved a gun from a safe in the couple’s Orange County, California, home and wandered into Chino Hills State Park.

Tarek told deputies that he headed to the park to “blow off some steam,” and that he brought the gun with him as protection against mountain lions and rattlesnakes.

“Flip or Flop,” which premiered in 2013, revolves around the El Moussas, real estate agents who buy distressed properties and renovate them.

In a statement to TheWrap, HGTV, which airs the series, said that the show “will continue production as scheduled.”

“We admire and appreciate Tarek and Christina’s great work on ‘Flip or Flop,’” HGTV said. “When it comes to matters related to their own family, we respect their privacy and honor any decision that works best for them and their children. HGTV is currently airing episodes of ‘Flip or Flop’ and the series will continue production as scheduled.”