In Wake Of Parkland Shooting, Florida Gun Owner Gives Up AR-57 In Viral Post

"I do not need this rifle."

As the country continues to recover from a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., one man decided to take action himself by voluntarily handing over his gun to the local police department. In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Ben Dickmann documented turning over his AR-57, a variant of the weapon that killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School this week, to the Broward County Sheriff's office. His reason was simply that he felt he did not need the rifle.


"It's come after a lot of soul searching," Dickmann told NPR. "Everybody always says - you know, it's the big argument right now - everybody's offering thoughts and prayers but nothing else. And I thought, well, this is something I can do that I think is right. And it's something I can do that might spark a change."

Dickmann's decision came after a lengthy post on Thursday in which he argued that, even as a gun owner, he believes that "thoughts and prayers" no longer suffice as a response to mass shootings in the U.S. 

Dickmann has been hunting since he was a child but believes the acquisition of guns must be better regulated and the classes required in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit must be improved. 

Most states have programs in which citizens can voluntarily surrender their unwanted rifles to police departments. In a subsequent reposting, the Broward County Sheriff's office included instructions for anyone else wanting to follow suit. Dickmann noted that he could have sold the AR-57, but he wanted the gun to be out of circulation. 

"I am a responsible, highly trained gun owner," Dickmann wrote. "However I do not need this rifle. No one without a law enforcement badge needs this rifle."


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