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Florence man turns in assault rifles

Howard turned in his guns at the Florence Police Department.

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018 6:16 PM
Updated: Feb. 23, 2018 6:24 PM

FLORENCE, Ore. -- Dean Howard is a Vietnam War veteran, an avid hunter, and a lifelong gun owner. Today he turned in his assault rifles to law enforcement. 

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He said he watched as the recent Florida school shooting happened and he was in disbelief. For him, the tragedy hit close to home.

"I had to watch my wife sit on the floor crying," Howard said.

In 2007 his son, Bryce, was killed by a suicide bomber while deployed to Afghanistan. 

"Just think if your kid didn't come home... that emptiness feeling you're going to have," Howard said. "Because that's what it is."

Earlier this week during a White House meeting a father who lost his daughter in the Florida shooting made an emotional plea to President Trump and Howard was listening. 

"I'm doing this for Andrew Pollack," Howard said. "I hope he hears about this and knows somebody felt what he was feeling and went and did it."

He said even though his son died under different circumstances, he still wanted to take action to send a message. 

Shortly after KEZI 9 News spoke with him, Howard turned in his weapons at the Florence Police Department. 

"I've turned mine in, they are going to be destroyed and I've done my part," Howard said. "It's up to the rest of the country and their conscience and what they feel is right."

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