UPDATE: McGregor apologizes for controversial gun pic
UPDATE: Conor McGregor acknowledged toting an airsoft gun in public and apologized in an Instagram post Friday.
"I apologise for having the air-soft in public. I was simply rehearsing for a potential upcoming film role," he wrote. "I understand that the more traffic a story can get the more revenue it generates. So I understand and respect that the media must create these stories and these situations even if at times it is at other people's expense. We've all got to eat. And I eat well. So I will not complain."
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor posted a photo of a masked person holding a gun in a car on Instagram early Thursday morning, and he may be facing issues in Ireland as a result.
In the photo, two people are in the car, with one wearing a ski mask which covers most of the face and holding what looks like a black firearm out of the window toward the camera. It's not clear whether either of the people is McGregor.
A UFC official told FOX Sports that the promotion is aware of the posted photo and that they have been in contact with Conor McGregor's manager, Audie Attar.
Ireland has some of the most stringent firearm laws in the world. Several European media outlets are reporting that it is believed what the person in the photo is holding is a replica or airsoft gun — McGregor recently was seen shooting such a gun in a video — but even that could create a problem for the Irish MMA star.
Imitation airsoft guns with a muzzle energy of under one joule (a unit of energy) are not classified as firearms under Irish law and do not require owners to have a firearms certificate, according to Ireland's Department of Justice. However, the DOJ website says recent legislation makes it a crime to possess a "realistic imitation firearm in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse." In the posed photo, the car is in what appears to be an outdoor driveway, with houses nearby, but no people other than the two men inside are in the frame.
The Irish Independent reports that a spokesman for the Gardai, Ireland's national police force, confirmed that they are investigating. The Gardai have not yet responded to calls and an email from FOX Sports seeking comment.