Indiana native plans to arm people in high crime areas

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INDIANAPOLIS — A Texas-based group that wants to arm law-abiding residents in high crime neighborhoods with free shotguns plans to visit Indianapolis in the coming months.

The group called the Armed Citizen Project was founded by Indiana native Kyle Coplen in January as a part of his Master’s thesis. Coplen believes arming people can help them take back their neighborhoods from criminals.

“It’s my hypothesis that criminals don’t want to die in your hallway. And I believe that society should use that fear in order to deter crime.”

The group uses donations from across the nation to buy the guns. Anyone who is interested in the program must pass a background check and go through the group’s training before they receive a gun.

Coplen said he has already trained and several armed single women in Houston and plans on arming 50-100 people in a neighborhood by the end of April. Then he will take his program to other cities including Indianapolis. In fact, he said he already has several volunteers in the Circle City who are very excited to be a part of the program.

“I absolutely love the City of Indianapolis. I love the people there,” he told Fox 59 over the phone from Houston. “I’d really love to come and help them out to help deter crime in a City that I love.”

The areas Coplen is interested in would include some of the worst areas for crime, including a neighborhood where a deadly shootout killed one man and injured a Metro officer this week.

That’s concerning for people like Pastor Damon Roach who has been trying to remove weapons from the streets. While he realized what Coplen is doing is legal, he is afraid residents will sell their new shotguns and soon those legal weapons will become illegal. He believes more guns in the community is not the answer.

“I really think that it’ll have a heck of a reverse effect in communities with kids. Kids getting a hold of shotguns and shotguns going off… I just think that’s a dangerous precedent to set,” said Roach. He wants to reach out and have a conversation with Coplen before he arrives in the Circle City.

However, Coplen believes he’s helping people who cannot afford to defend themselves by empowering them in a very legal way.

“We’re creating new responsible gun owners and we’re arming them with defensive shotguns,” said Coplen. “We’re not just throwing a handful of AR15’s into a neighborhood and then driving away as fast as possible.”

The group doesn’t have an exact date for its trip to Indianapolis, but hopes to be here in the next few months.


  • Safety first

    I believe in arming citizens, but a shotgun not in a safe can be used against the owner of the gun. They do make quick draw safes for handguns, not rifles. A young lady in Gas City was just killed by her own shotgun. Gun owners need these loaded weapons in a safe place to protect themselves and others!

    • GunsSaveLives

      Hell, Anyone That Walks Into My House Unwelcome With ANY Intent To Harm Myself, My Firends, Or Family Will Be Met With DEADLY Force! And That Is My Right! ALL Of My Guns Are ALL LOADED ALL THE TIME With 1 In The Chamber And More Ready To Go. My Guns Are Spread All Through My House And NONE ARE IN A FUCKING SAFE.. If The Need Ever Arises I Need Them At ARMS LENGTH Not In The Other Room In A Safe I Have To Unlock! (Think About This: Someone Breaks Into Your Home.. They Have A LOADED GUN!!! Now Which Gives You A Better Chance? Loaded Gun Handy – OR – Gun Locked In Safe?) When Someone Comes To Do Harm TIME IS A VERY IMPORTANT FACTOR. One That Can Make The Difference Between A Dead Man That Broke Into Your Home And You And Your Whole Family DEAD In YOUR OWN HOME!

      • deucide

        you are forgetting that not every one is in a situation to be able to leave a loaded gun unlocked – what do you do when you have a 4 or 5 year old that is very impatient and wants to learn how to shoot NOW, and likes to help himself to things when no one is looking. at the very least you need a lock with a biometric release.

    • guest

      a gun in a safe doesnt protect you. my shotgun is right beside my bed. not in a safe. sometimes you dont have time to get into a safe then to load the gun.

    • j.john

      What? How in the world? "A young lady in Gas City was just killed by her own shotgun." So she handled it wrong? Someone took it from her and used it against her? Although it's too bad she was killed a shotgun didn't just jump out of the closet and kill it's owner. People have to take responsibility in society, I know this seems to be a disappearing idea. I'll use my responsibility as a gun owner to defend myself against those that aren't worthy of the freedom they've been given and choose to hurt people.

  • Hate

    Of Course That Shit Skin Preacher Doesn’t Want Guns Around. It Would Kill Half His Congregation In The First Week.

    • Toni Allen

      You are an idiot. I hope your realize how stupid you sound saying things like that. You should be afraid saying stupid things like that. Of course you would probably never say those things in real life.

  • Kquake

    I’m going to do my part and donate. What a great program. Fortunately I live in a peaceful neighborhood with close neighbors, a great crime watch group and a high percentage of citizens exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. So this is just my small way in helping others feel the same safety that I do.

  • Blowitouturars

    Just need to go to Lafayette square mall and start a blasting!

    What they really need to do is push a law where if someone obtains a gun and commits a crime, both their arms are carry an unregistered gun, sorry about your luck. You obtain a stolen gun, then chop chop. You kill someone and get caught, you die from firing squad. You're a teen and bring a gun to school, kiss your trigger fingers goodbye. It's time for the US to treat misuse of guns like the Chinese did with opium. Laws are too lax these days. Criminals serve minimal sentences, are accidentally released, live better lives behind bars than on the streets, obtain drugs-guns-electronics while in jail, all while tax payer Joe pays their way through the criminal system. We've become these liberal pussies worried about rights of prisoners in a underfunded and corrupt system. We slap the wrist of criminals and at the same time breast feed the single mothers who create these thoughtless thugs.

    We took prayers out of schools and idolize brainless reality shows. We watch BET show movies portraying gangster life as 'cool' and righteous. We listen to rap music singing about robbing, raping, etc. we give food stamps to people who turn around and sell them for drugs, etc etc etc….

    Should we really be surprised by all the crime we see these days?

    I hope some law abiding citizens enjoy blasting these worthless turds to the after-life hell they deserve!

    • JayHobeSound

      You seem mentally unstable, like the type that would fap to ultraviolent movies or crime scene photos of homicide victims.

    • orangello

      "carrying an unregistered gun"? Only a few states require that firearms be registered.

      Consider talking to a therapist; it couldn't hurt.

  • Anthony

    I am a gun owner and I believe wholeheartedly in protecting my home. I do not have a shotgun and would love to get a shot gun from him, I believe that what he’s doing is righteous and just. The pastor does have a point; some people may sell their shotguns and they will become illegal. But I believe a vast majority of the people who received guns will be Responsible and do the right thing. I can’t wait till he comes here how do I sign up or register to become a candidate?

    • Scare The Pilgrim

      My Advice : If he doesn't give you one of these Mossberg Model 590's ,,Buy a Mossberg Model 500. Both are the same gun except the 590 has a tube magazine extension allowing it to hold 9 shells,,with those 9 and 1 in the barrel your ready for a serious riot ,, to which I believe is Overkill, the short tube mag version handles fast,,you have 5 in the tube mag , 1 in the chamber and if you find thats not enough firepower to save your life inside your home , match it up with a serious pistol for backup, good post by the way.

  • Adam

    I think this is a great idea. I believe it is every able bodied persons duty to protect themselves and those around them. If you were a theif and knew most houses in a neighborhood had a gun, you would think twice about breaking into those houses. This goes back to the whole "gun free zone" is just a sign say "come on in killer, there is no one here to stop you".

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >He believes more guns in the community is not the answer.

    More guns in the able bodied and lawful citizens is the answer. I hope this guy does thorough background checks before handing out trench guns!

  • Guy

    Preacher Damon is an idiot. Lets not arm law abiding citizens so criminals can keep running the show.

  • RedState_Vet

    I can't see "progressives" having a problem with this- didn't Joe "Gaffmaster" Biden advocate using a shotgun to fire a few blasts out your front door if you felt threatened? Maybe Kyle can get a federal subsidy for his program.

    • Guy

      Obama wants to take guns away so his government can kill off the people to make himself the supreme leader. He wants tyranny and complete control. Beware people, Obama is the anti Christ, Satans spawn on earth.

      • ellen

        K-anne, guy is right….you and people like you are the idiots…the program i'm sure has been thought out….it's people like you that endanger our lives by saying we don't need to protect ourselves….obama IS the anti christ…he was groomed since birth by the muslims to bring this country down, and people like you are helping him….

      • K-anne

        "ELLEN" Sure he's the antichrist. you are a flippin psychopath. You and ur multiple personalities RED & GUY. I am for the program, so maybe you should read a lil slower…. or maybe next time I'll use smaller words that can fit ur smaller brain. I stated in my comment I grew up using shotguns…..which is why I can understand how much SKILL goes into handling a SHOTGUN compared to a handgun. Ya know what… you make me tired & you make my head ache from your moranic anti-Obama end of the world comments. Geesh

    • deucide

      did you see what he said later on – he said to fire a couple of blasts “through” your front door . what a fuk-tard – think u need to atleast let the door open to know who / what you are shooting at.

  • Bev

    Not sure this is a good idea. One would have to be really quick and strong enough to shoot a shot gun. And if undesireables know that there is a shotgun in most homes there would probably be alot of breakins to steal them!

    • Michael

      They have low recoil shotgun loads for people that are recoil sensitive;-)

      And home invasions should go down after a couple of these punks make it on Fox59 News after eating some "double-aught" buckshot.

    • Derek

      My 8 year old niece shots a 20 gauge. Thus, you do not have to be strong to shoot one…just trained!

  • Stephanie

    Regardless of whether it is the best solution or not we all need to remember that criminals DON'T follow laws, if they did we wouldn't all be here discussing the ability to shoot them. I have a son and he is aware of how to treat a weapon and how to respect its abilities. He also would not hesitate to shoot anyone that threatened his family his safety or his right to a persuit of happiness because that is his right as an American citizen! There are too many men and women who fight every day so that we may have this right. We all should arm ourselves and show these criminals that we aren't scared anymore! In fact I wish the criminals would choose my house over someone who is too scared to protect themselves so they would be able to see all the good that comes from getting rid of all these ignorant people! God Bless America, the land of the free BECAUSE of the brave!

  • drt52

    So they will be in high crime areas. And the people that get them won't be carrying them along when they leave their homes. What a great opportunity for burglars. And I wonder how many will end up sold? These areas are usually in the lower economic areas. Run short on money and you have a shotgun to pawn or sell.

  • Red

    I really feel for you Obamacrats. When will you people see that Obama is the biblical antichrist, the false prophet that preaches love and peace but has the hidden agenda of his evil wickedness. Continue to follow him you stupid sheep, and you will have a toasty final resting place.

    • K-anne

      So what is his "hidden agenda"? I'm sure "GUY" & "RED" are the same person. Do u create a bunch of different names on here to make it look like a lot of people support your version of events? Tell us all what has Obama done that makes him the "BIBLICAL ANTICHRIST" people like YOU need to be locked up, tied to a chair, & FORCE FED KNOWLEDGE until you snap out of your idiotic warped world you are living in. LOOSER.

      • Red

        You need to get your head checked an have it removed from the blinding cave known as your ass. You would jump off a bridge if satan Obama told you too. Wake up woman"

  • K-anne

    I'm not sure if shotguns are such a good idea for a 1st time gun owner. I grew up w/shotguns, & I used to hunt rabbit, deer, & squirrels. So it seems like something of a smaller caliber would be more appropriate for 1st time gun owner…right? And I sure do hope that they do every background & MENTAL check they can before they go around handing these guns out, & glad to hear they have to go thru training. I think it's all n all a good idea. Just hope everyone is careful.

    • K-anne

      Do you think I am blaming the guns? If so I am not. I think we should be just as armed as the criminals are. But I worry about people w/guns who have no training & start shooting everytime they hear a mouse run across the floor. Plus shotguns can be hard to handle. so the 1st time owner may wnt something smaller.

  • southerngirl

    Did anybody actually READ the article? They would recieve the weapon ONLY after submitting to the background check and training. repeat: training. Again- training. Once more – training. LAST TIME: Training.
    I think he is being very responsible- if someone was only interested in getting the firearm to sell it, thats a lot to go through. They have to complete the background forms and check to acquire it and they may think twice…

  • Ryan

    Sounds like a great program to me someone who cares by trying to train people gun safety and protection could help out the neighbors until the police do get there if i was not serving in afghanistan currently I would volunteer

  • letskillthecriminals

    What an excellent program. Lets lock and load , here we come you damn criminals. We are going to kill you .

  • criminalsbeware

    I've used shotguns all my life, Nothing to it. They are the best home deffensive weapon there is.
    Watch how fast the crime rate goes down after a few criminals get their asses shot off.

  • mag

    i know some neighborhoods were cops go 2 to a car like the ol days when crime was rampant and what does that tell ya Indiana , especially like the northeast side Lawrence township were that area shuts down as soon as the sun goes down even drive thrus its like a ghost town let alone during the day when businesses haft to have security , crime n drug pushers murders r rampant why they keep under budgeting schools our cornerstone somethang is going on , i thank this idea is ground breaking for people to take there home safety back atleast , god forbid a riot breaks out in ur neighborhoods n ur left to the mercy of the rioters , i was told when i was young i had to meet god half way i guess we got to meet the police half way in taking back our individual rights instead of waiting or hoping for someone else or a higher power help us from a heinous crime or crimes , i applaud there idea ..

  • Brian

    the best home deffensive weapon would be the Judge using the 410 slugs or the deffensive rounds by winchester

  • denouemen

    Ronald Reagan had 5 armed men within 5 feet of him, all with the sole job of protecting him when he was shot–what saved him was poor marksmanship. So, if we surround every citizen with at least five armed escorts, they can still be killed. You can't get the drop on crazy.

  • m

    very intetrsted and will love to be able to protect my family on the eastside of indianapolis where i have experienced someone breaking into my house with my toddler twins and my nine year old and there was mothing i could do about but be in fear for our lives.please keep us posted on this event as a single mother of three

  • denouemen

    We all know how the neo-con mind works–if we arm everyone in the rough/poor neighborhoods maybe they'll all kill each other. Stupid is as stupid does.

  • Danny Boy

    Great idea in my opinion. Many who have no choice but to live in these high crime area's deserve a bit of protection from the scum that pollutes their neighborhoods. Many are afraid to even be in their homes, especially after dark in these areas. These people deserve at least a bit of a feeling of safety, or the comfort of knowing they at least stand a fighting chance of protecting themselves and their family's in the event of a break in or home invasion. All the gun control in the world will never dis-arm the criminals. The few law biding folks who have to live in these areas deserve the opportunity to protect themselves, and their children!!!!

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