Group offers free shotguns to fight crime in Florida suburb
Members of the group "Armed Citizen Project" say they are looking to arm residents of a Florida neighborhood with shotguns in an effort to stop crime. WESH's Stephanie Kolp reports.
By Jeff Black, Staff Writer, NBC News
Members of a gun-rights group think they have the answer to combating crime - free shotguns and ammo to homeowners.
Members of the Armed Citizen Project of Florida have been dropping leaflets on doorsteps in the Sunshine Gardens community near Orlando, Fla., offering to "arm volunteer households," for free.
"This is perfectly legal because what we're doing is we're offering first of all a certified gun-instruction class, but we're not handing out the shotguns whatsoever." the ACP state director Ron Ritter told local NBC affiliate WESH.
Ritter said a firearms retailer would supply the shotguns and ammunition and transfer ownership once the volunteer passes a background check.
Many residents interviewed by local media seemed a baffled by the effort, particularly since the community isn't known as a high crime area.
"That's what really cracked me up," Cathy Rodgers, who has lived in the community for seven years, told the Orlando Sentinel. "I've never felt unsafe in my neighborhood. I just feel like they're preying on people's fears."
The Florida group, which is affiliated with a Texas organization, has yet to give away even one shotgun since it was founded in the Tampa area, Ritter said.
That seemed to be fine with some residents.
"Everybody has the right to bear arms," Robin McLaughlin told WESH, "but that doesn't mean we should all have a firearm for our own protection."
According to the Armed Citizen Project's national website, run by its flagship Houston, Texas, chapter, the group is "dedicated to facilitating the arming of law abiding citizens" in order to fight crime.
The group's founder, Kyle Coplen, made headlines in May when he said he wanted to give away free shotguns to New Yorkers.
A phone call to Ken Geis, a volunteer on the Orlando shotgun giveaway, was not immediately returned.
OK, so now people have a problem with background checks and classes being provided BEFORE a person is given a gun? The supposed "pro-gun control" crowd really needs to make up it's mind and stop upping the ante every time a community actually gives you what you want. They are giving people GUN SAFETY lessons and doing BACKGROUND checks but you still aren't happy because they are going to follow that up by providing anyone who passes both with a free shotgun? It's time some of you stop pretending you are all about gun CONTROL and start admitting what you want is complete and total gun ELIMINATION.
EEEEK...Florida again! What makes these people so.....mentally deficient? Can you imagine what will happen if they hand them out to just ANYBODY with no background checks, no arrest record checks? Etc. Crazy people. As if they need to "protect themselves" . LOL. From each other, actually. Nutcases and guns. What a combination.
They take a class and pass a background check. I thought this was what people wanted.
LO> That is essential. But will they do it?
Or just hand 'em out "there ya go buddy".They need to be mentally checked out too. The day I feel that I need a gun "to protect myself" is the day I make an appointment with a psychiatrist. They need guns to protect themselves from each other in the "Gun Culture".