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Nebraska airman, gun lover turns in AR-15

Posted at 6:15 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 19:15:34-05

An airman from Bellevue turned in his AR-15 to local police to support student activists from Parkland, Florida for gun reform. 

39-year-old Chris Shields, who considers himself a gun lover, turned in his AR-15 to the Bellevue Police Department February 23, nine days after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people. 

"These kids are standing up, and fighting for something and they've been getting death threats for this. There's no way I can sit here and not try and support them," said Shields.

Shields, who has been around guns since he was eight years old, and has been in the Air Force for 18 years, has been trained to use several guns, including an AR-15.

"I believe in the Second Amendment," said Shields. "I'm your stereotypical gun guy, but for 18 and 21 year-olds to have access to an assault rifle is crazy."

Shields, who believes there should be more universal background checks, says he was able to purchase his rifle too easily. He said in a quick and easy transaction with a stranger in a Cracker Barrel parking lot in North Carolina in 2012, he was able to purchase his AR-15 for $800.

"There are lines that we have to have, even with the Second Amendment, there's limitations to the first amendment and there should be limitations to the Second Amendment and I think where that line is right now, it's off center," said Shields.

Bellevue Police ran a background check to make sure the weapon wasn't stolen and will destroy the assault-style rifle.

Shields kept his other nine guns, including handguns and shotguns. He says he still wants to keep those for protection, but adds he would turn them in if laws that made them illegal were passed.

"I'm tired of talking to my kids about mass school shootings. That's not what this country is about," said Shields. "I'm glad my gun will never be fired again.