Fear of school shooting leads man to turn in rifle

Michael Backer explains why he turned in Ruger Mini-14 assault rifle to Miami-Dade Police

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. - One South Florida man talks about what led him to turn in his assault rifle to Miami-Dade Police.

"I bought it because it looked cool and I was young and dumb and now I'm older and wiser," said Michael Backer.

Backer told Local 10's Roger Lohse it was an easy decision to turn in the Ruger Mini-14 assault rifle that was collecting dust in his garage after the Connecticut school shooting.

"I didn't want it because God forbid somebody should steal it from my garage and it would be used in another Sandy Hook," said Backer. "One less rifle on the streets of Miami."

Backer said he had about 25 offers from people wanting to buy the rifle for as much as $300. Instead, he delivered it to Miami-Dade Police Department headquarters in Doral and asked them to destroy the firearm.

"Their exact reaction was, 'Really?'" said Backer. "It's insignificant in the grand scope of things, but I feel that maybe some life will be spared somewhere down the road by not having this rifle."

Police officers suggest leaving a firearm in your car if you want to turn it in. An officer will then go to your vehicle, secure the weapon, and help you fill out paperwork before it can be destroyed.

Last month, the Opa-locka Police Department collected more than 100 firearms in a gun buy back program.

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