Ben Beers, a father of two and former Marine, grew up using guns and learning about gun safety. Before giving up his weapons to the police, he kept them locked in a safe to prevent his two young daughters from accessing them.
But the Uvalde tragedy really made the father think about why he owned an AR-15 — the semi-automatic rifle that has been used in at least 13 mass shootings since 2012.
"With AR-15s constantly in the news (it made me think), why do I have these in my home?" Beers told TODAY Parents. "I've never used them for self-defense and, to me, it's a token of pure evil and destruction."
Beers filmed a TikTok outside of his local police department, explaining how he “no longer want[ed] them.”
“Today I’m turning over my weapons to the Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon, both my AR-15 and my 9-mil handgun. I no longer want them.”
"I know this will not change legislation or anything to do with gun culture in America," he continued. "But hopefully, it will be a form of symbolism and hopefully America can wake up because no other country has the problems that we do ... with gun violence."
He then calls for the government to “amend the Constitution, amend the legislation and the statutes.” The video then cuts to a shot of his two guns in his trunk, followed by a filled out form formally relinquishing the weapons.