HILLSBORO, Ore. — A Hillsboro man is getting national attention on social media after turning his two firearms over to police to be destroyed following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.
“Today I'm turning in my weapons to the Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon, both my AR-15 and my nine millimeter handgun. I no longer want them,” said Ben Beers in his now viral TikTok post.
Beers said he made his decision in response to the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers.
“I was up all night, tossing and turning, crying and shaking,” Beers told KGW.
When he woke up Wednesday morning, Beers, 37, knew exactly what he wanted to do.
In just one day, close to 200,000 people had watched Beers’ TikTok video.
“Which is a good thing,” said Beers. “Hopefully, soon we can all wake up and realize this needs to be done… this is an idea. Guns are not as precious to us and nor are my Second Amendment rights as the lives of my children in school.”
Beers and his wife have two daughters. By the time they're grown, he said he hopes access to guns in America will look different.
“I can't even find a PlayStation 5, but I can go get a Glock, you know?” said Beers.
Beers said he also hopes the money driving the gun industry will have lost its pull.
“I'm aware that I could have made thousands of dollars off this stuff but that's the problem. [Guns] already have too much of an economic impact in this country. It's already a big moneymaker and that's the root of the problem,” he said.
In the past, Beers said he has owned and sold other guns, but said this latest mass shooting changed everything.
“I just want to turn them in, have them destroyed,” he said.
The Hillsboro Police Department contracts with a company that destroys guns that have been turned in, according to Hillsboro police Sergeant Clint Shrz. He said they don’t offer people incentives to turn in firearms, be it money or vouchers, just a property receipt. He said most local law enforcement agencies do the same.
“It could be a death in the family and someone has left them a firearm that they don't want in the house and they decide to turn it into us,” said Shrz. “It happens about once a month.”
Beers said he hopes people will choose to turn in their firearms more often now.
“Hopefully, America can wake up, because no other country has the problem we do with gun culture and ideation and gun violence like we do,” said Beers.