INDIANAPOLIS – As the NRA convention weekend gets underway, an Indiana native is shoring up support for his organization that will give away free shotguns to law-abiding citizens in high crime Indianapolis neighborhoods.
Kyle Coplen started the Armed Citizen Project in hopes of proving that guns can deter crime if owned and used by responsible citizens. Recipients must be vetted by the ACP, pass a background check, and take an ACP training course before getting a free shotgun.
Fox 59 visited Coplen in Houston, Texas last year where he has already armed a neighborhood and now his sights are set on Indianapolis.
“I really like helping folks and creating responsible gun owner and giving people a sense of safety and security in their own home,” he said.
He’s been working the crowd at the NRA convention in downtown Indianapolis, trying to shore up support and spread the word about his organization.
He will also spend this weekend speaking with various City and church leaders as well as some in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Coplen wants to get a feel for the best areas to target.
“There’s a lot you can’t tell about a community just by looking at the crime statistics,” he explained. “You actually have to be there… to get the sense of how they feel about the situation, how receptive they’re gonna be, what the participation rate is gonna be and just which areas are gonna be the best fit.”
He also wants to find the first 10 women he will arm in the City. But above all that, Coplen is looking for donors and partners to help pay for all the shotguns he plans to give away. He said he’s already found a few allies in Indianapolis that are on board with his mission. One supporter, he added, has offered his gun range to give the ACP a place to train their shotgun recipients.