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US gun owners have been praised for destroying their military-style assault rifles in the wake of the Florida school massacre.

Scott Pappalardo posted a video of himself cutting up his AR-15 rifle – similar to the one used by Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz – which has been viewed more than 15 million times on Facebook.

Using the hashtag #OneLess, Mr Pappalardo said he wanted to ensure the weapon "will never be able to take a life" as he sawed off the barrel of the gun.

It comes a week after the Valentine's Day mass shooting at a high school in Parkland which left 17 people dead and prompted survivors to call for stricter gun controls.

In his video, Mr Pappalardo said he was a "firm believer" in the right to bear arms – which he had tattooed on his arm – but he did not believe civilians should possess weapons that can cause "so much death and destruction".

Image:Mr Pappalardo used an electric saw to cut up the rifle. Pic: Scott Pappalardo/Facebook

He pointed out that Cruz – and Stephen Paddock, who slaughtered 58 people in Las Vegas last year in America's worst mass shooting – were both legal gun owners.

"Quite frankly any legal gun owner is capable of snapping and committing a horrific crime, even without mental illness," he said.

"I've decided today, I'm going to make sure this weapon will never be able to take a life.

Scott Pappalardo posted a video of himself destroying his AR-15 rifle. Pic: Scott Pappalardo/Facebook
Image:The video showed the barrel of the gun had been cut off Pic: Scott Pappalardo/Facebook

"The barrel of this gun will never be pointed at someone."

Hollywood star Julianne Moore praised Mr Pappalardo's video, tweeting: "Please watch this eloquent gun owner explain why he destroyed his gun.

"Thank you #ScottPappalardo for your example."

Broward Sheriff's Office, which responded to the mass shooting last week, thanked gun-owner Ben Dickmann after he shared photos of himself disposing of his high-powered AR-57 rifle.

In his Facebook post, which has been shared more than 200,000 times, Mr Dickmann said "no one without a law enforcement badge needs this rifle" as he handed it over to the police.

"I could have easily sold this rifle, but no person needs this," he wrote.

"I will be the change I want to see in this world.

"If our law makers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example. #outofcirculation."

Responding to Mr Dickmann, Broward Sheriff's Office tweeted: "Thank you Ben for sharing this."

Meanwhile, a high school headteacher in Missouri has apologised for promoting raffle tickets for AR-15 rifles hours after the Florida massacre.

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South Elementary School principal Lee Woodward told ABC News the raffle was to raise funds for her son's baseball team, adding: "I am truly sorry to any who were offended or concerned by the team's raffle.

"It was never my intention to offend anyone but to simply support my son and his teammates."

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