In the days since an expelled student armed with an rifle opened fire on his former classmates at a Florida high school, the gun debate has escalated in this country.
One suburban Chicago man sent his own message by turning in his rifle to authorities.
The man walked his AR-15 and five high-capacity magazines into the La Grange Police Department Saturday night.
He asked that NBC 5 not reveal his identity as he is concerned for his family’s safety. He says he made the decision after talking to his teenage son and his friends.
“I asked them what did they want and they said they thought they didn’t want the ARs on the street," the man said. "They were too easy to get."
This La Grange gun owner says he was motivated to turn in his AR-15 after a 19-year-old gunman used a similar weapon to kill 17 people at a Florida high school last week.
"That particular gun is unnecessary for me," he told NBC 5. "I don’t need it. And I can’t rightly own it with the children out there fighting to get these things off the streets."
The gun owner’s own high-school-age son and his friends went with him to the police department to turn in the rifle after calling for change.
“They said mental health and make ar’s harder to get and I can’t argue with that. That doesn’t seem to be too much to ask.”
The 48-year-old doesn’t want the weapon to end up at a gun auction--that's why he turned it into the police.
He wants it destroyed--something La Grange police Chief Kurt Bluder says happens with any weapon turned in.
It’s a movement happening nationwide — a Facebook post from a man in Florida went viral over the weekend— after he turned in his rifle to authorities there. He wrote “No person needs this. I will be the change I want to see in this world.”
The La Grange man wants to be clear: he still owns other guns.
"I’m a conceal-carry card owner," he told NBC 5. "I’m a defender of the Second Amendment, I think it’s important."
But he says he believes what his son and what other Florida shooting survivors are asking for is common sense.
"This isn’t a political issue, this is an issue where children are getting killed and its’ got to stop and they need to see change," he said. "Because without change they think no one cares."
If you have a weapon you want to turn in to authorities, the La Grange police chief said you should call ahead to your local police department before bringing in the firearm to see if they will take it. He also said to leave the weapon in your car, in a case if you bring it to the police.