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Gun owners get rid of their guns to send message

Posted at 7:02 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 19:03:23-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Several viral videos have emerged on social media that depict legal gun owners destroying or surrendering their rifles, in protest against gun violence.

Scott Pappalardo from New York recorded himself sawing his AR-15 in half. The video has been shared almost 400,000 times on Facebook. "Here we are, 17 more lives lost. So when do we chance?" he asked. "Until the other day, Nikolas Cruz was a legal gun owner. Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 people, was a legal gun owner until that night."

Another viral post showed Ben Dickmann from Tamarac, Florida, surrendering his rifle to the Broward County Sheriff's Office. He said he easily could have sold it, but believes no one needs it.

4 In Your Corner asked Fort Myers Police if they accept weapons.

Captain Jay Rodriguez said they do, and turning them in to police is the safest way to discard an unwanted weapon. "If you want to come in and turn in a gun, what we ask you to do is bring your weapon in your car, and leave it in your car," he said. "We'll go out, you'll be under supervision of police. We'll take possession of the firearm, do paperwork saying you turned it in, and it's a done deal."

The agency has held gun buy-back events in the past, aiming to collect guns used to commit crimes, no questions asked. In return, people would receive money or a gift certificate. "We can have 300 guns turned in. and if one gun had the potential to become involved in a violent act, it's a successful day," Rodriguez said.