Shaun McClusky, who ran a failed campaign for City Council four years ago, says he has already raised $12,000 in pledges for his effort, the Tucson Weekly reported Tuesday.
Those who are picked to receive the free weapons "will receive a cleaning kit, they'll receive the shotgun, they'll receive slugs, they'll go through a background check and they'll also go through the training class," he told the newspaper.
McClusky says his free firearms effort is affiliated with the Armed Citizen Project started in Houston this year.
McClusky, who says it will cost about $350 to outfit and train each recipient, says he'll start with Tucson's Pueblo Gardens, Midvale Park and Grant-Campbell areas in the next 30-45 days.
Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik, who lives in the Campbell-Grant area, is not on board with the plan.
"For someone to say it makes sense to be giving away loaded shotguns in high-crime areas is absolute lunacy," Kozachik told the Tucson Weekly. "These people have lost their minds."
McClusky counters that such self-defense measure are necessary because of rising response times by police.
"They keep gutting police and fire. When they start fully funding police and fire, a program like this would not be needed," he said.