Armed Citizens Project to Give Away Shotguns in High-Crime Areas

| by Michael Allen

University of Houston graduate student Kyle Coplen, who founded the Armed Citizens Project, is going to give away 20-gauge single-shot shotguns to residents in high-crime neighborhoods to test whether or not the guns will help reduce crime in the area, reports CBS Houston.

The Armed Citizens Project says on its website: “Gun-control advocates often argue that an increase in guns in an area will lead to an increase in crime, while gun-rights advocates often believe that fewer guns result in more crime. While both sides often argue that their opponents policies will result in more crime, gun-control proponents have largely been the victors when it comes to policy implementation."

"Pro-gun activists have largely been content to simply fend off new potential gun control laws. It is my opinion that gun-rights activists must take the offensive, and actively encourage the increased presence of defensive weapons in society. Both sides believe that their policies will result in less crime, and it is about time that our side begins to act with the conviction and courage that it will take to win the debate.”

However, Coplen is fixing his "real world" experiment by only giving guns to people who can pass a background check, have lived in their present home for at least a year and can pass a gun safety class.  These are all factors which usually do not exist in real world situations.

In fact, most gun deaths do not take place during a crime by a stranger. The FBI has reported that most people are killed by guns used by family and friends.

“We’re not just tossing a bunch of shotguns into a community and walking away,” Coplen told Fox 26. “What we’re doing is finding residents who are interested in protecting themselves. we’re not forcing guns on anyone.”

In addition to arming citizens in high-crime areas, the Armed Citizens Project hopes to counter local gun buyback programs and instead educate people who want to give up their weapons with training sessions.

Source: and CBS Houston and