FILED IN: Social Issues

U.S. non profit gives away free guns to single moms

"Armed Citizen Project" seeks to give single moms free guns and training. Photo via Yarik Mishin.
“Armed Citizen Project” seeks to give single moms free guns and training. Photo via Yarik Mishin.

A non profit pro-gun advocacy group is aiming to arm single mothers in one of the most crime-ridden areas of Texas, in effort to help moms protect themselves and further study the effects the program has on crime.

According to an MSNBC report on Tuesday, the Armed Citizen Project, based in Oak Forest, Texas, seeks to give away free pump-action shotguns and provide training to single mothers whom they believe to be at risk. The organization’s founder, Kyle Coplen, 29, explains that the project is an experiment of sorts, to find out if arming vulnerable citizens leads to less crime.

Coplen says applicants have to qualify through a series of background checks and training. Coplen says if the program is as successful as he expects, he hopes to expand the program into violent crime areas like Chicago and New York.

Law experts such as Sanford Levison, a professor at the University of Texas, says he doubts Coplen will face any legal battles in Texas as what he’s doing is not against the law. Levison also cautions that even if crime rates do go down as expected, its success must be weighted against the likely increase in suicide rates which usually coincides with increased gun ownership.

When Coplen was asked how he might handle the political pressures to thwart his program in areas like New York and Chicago, Coplen said it’s a battle he’s willing to fight.

“If they’re going to deny folks their second amendment rights, that’s a challenge I’m willing to go up against,” said Coplen.

Coplen also added that the Obama administration should be on board with his efforts, saying the program combines “Joe Biden’s love of shotguns with Obama’s love of redistribution.”