'No person needs this:' AR-57 owner surrenders rifle, calls for stricter gun control

TARMAC, Fla. -- Ben Dickmann knows he's going against the grain.

A self-described "conservative-leaning, gun-owning, middle-aged, financially stable white male," Dickmann recently went public with a plea for lawmakers to pass comprehensive gun-control legislation that would greatly restrict the availability of the AR-15 and other semi-automatic weapons like the one he himself owned until surrendering it to a local sheriff's office on Friday.

"There is no need for these in public. They are fun to shoot at the range, and cheap, but that's about the extent of their usefulness," he wrote in part. "As a hunter and someone that wants to defend my home, I do not need more than six rounds of capacity. There is simply no need for high-capacity magazines. I cannot see any justification for them. Those can go away."

Dickmann decided to take action because he personally knows people who have been directly impacted by recent mass shootings in Las Vegas, Florida and Illinois.

"I am standing up and saying to anyone that will listen. We need better, more comprehensive gun control, ownership, and training requirements in this county," he wrote. "We need to start this now. We needed to start this 20-30 years ago in all reality."

He went on to lay out a plan calling for a government buyback program to get military-style rifles off the street, enhanced mental health screening and detection programs for gun owners and increased training and certification processes for weapon ownership.

"We need to start, we need to act. We need to be the generation that says enough is enough and we are going to start the wheels to stop this. I am going to be part of that generation," he wrote on Facebook the day after 17 people were killed in a shooting at a nearby high school.

And a day later, he put his money where his mouth is.

Dickmann posted photos on Facebook Friday as he surrendered his AR-57, a caliber variant of the AR-15, to the Broward Sheriff's Office in Tarmac, Florida.

"I could have easily sold this rifle, but no person needs this. I will be the change I want to see in this world," Dickmann wrote. "If our lawmakers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example."

Many local law enforcement agencies offer programs through which gun owners can surrender firearms and ammunition they no longer wish to own. While some agencies reserve the right to use surrendered firearms as service weapons under certain circumstances, the vast majority of surrendered firearms are melted down or otherwise destroyed.

Some jurisdictions also have buyback programs wherein local law enforcement agencies will offer payment in exchange for the surrender of qualifying weapons.