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Free shotguns in 15 cities: Armed Citizen Project pushes to distribute firearms

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com
Free shotguns in 15 cities: Armed Citizen Project pushes to distribute firearms
Lisa Deleon of Las Vegas examines a shotgun at the Sarsilmaz booth at the National Shooting Sports Foundation's 35th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show at the Sands Expo and Convention Center January 16, 2013 in Las Vegas. The SHOT Show is the largest annual gathering of shooting professionals with more than 1,600 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees expected. UPI/David Becker | License Photo

The Armed Citizen Project, with the support of the National Rifle Association, hopes to provide free shotguns to citizens of 15 cities by the end of the year, reports CBS Chicago.

The group, based in Houston, announced their goal at the NRA convention this week. Free guns have already been given away in Houston.

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Kyle Coplen, the group's founder, plans to arm residents of middle- to high-crime areas, and wants to arm one fourth of the neighborhood. The group also aims to provide signs to let potential criminals know the areas are armed.

"It's our hypothesis that criminals do not want to die in your hallway. We think society should use that fear to deter crime," Coplen said.

The group is working to give shotguns away in cities with stricter gun laws, including Chicago. Its next targets include Tuscon, Detroit, Indianapolis and New York, and they hope to reach 15 cities by the end of 2013.

The Armed Citizen Project provides applications for citizens to take part in a firearms training program. Applicants must pass a background check, and if they are accepted, they receive a $200 weapon.

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