Free shotguns in 15 cities: $200 gun distribution plan by The Armed Citizen Project stirs controversy

The Armed Citizen Project

Free shotguns may be handed out in 15 cities, including Chicago and New York, by the end of the year.

A group called the Armed Citizen Project hopes to get the support of the National Rifle Association, to arm citizens by giving them shotguns.

The group made the announcement at the NRA convention, which is currently underway.  

ACP reportedly started to hand out the free guns already in Houston.

The plan is sure to stir controversy but Kyle Coplen, the group's founder, believes that guns will deter would-be criminals. "It's our hypothesis that criminals do not want to die in your hallway. We think that society should use that fear to deter crime," said Coplen, according to CBS Chicago.

"We're giving folks the tools with which to defend their life, liberty and property, we're training them how to use the weapons and empowering citizens."

He said free guns are given to people living in medium to high crime areas so they can defend themselves from criminals in the area.

They plan to give the free shotguns to residents in Tuscon, Detroit, Indianapolis and New York, ultimately reaching 15 cities by the end of the year.

Coplen, 29, says he plans to arm a quarter of the neighborhood in Houston and put up signs that warn criminals that the neighborhood is armed.

"We're coming — and we're going to get shotguns into the hands of responsible citizens," said Coplen, according to New York Daily News.

The guns are worth $200 and the group also plans to offer free weapons training for applicants who have passed all legal background checks.

But Coplen's plan for the Big Apple may not pan out as well as he hopes, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly are advocates for gun-control and the city has strict gun-permitting processes.