As talks of gun rights and gun violence spark controversy throughout the nation and Chicago, a Houston-based gun advocate group is hoping to get into the line of fire.
The Armed Citizen Project, a nonprofit group that arms residents living in high-crime cities, reportedly hopes to put shotguns in the hands of residents living in Chicago.
The group is currently arming residents in the Houston and Tucson areas, but made headlines after the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston this weekend when they announced hoped for expansion into more than 15 cities, including Chicago, according to DNAinfo.com.
The group’s mission is to arm law-abiding citizens and train them in safety, legal, and tactical measures, according to ACP’s website. All participants who to receive a weapon and take the training program will receive a shotgun, for free.
According to their website, the group’s motto is “nothing in my house is worth losing your life.”
Project founder Kyle Coplen, 29, an Indiana native, said he grew up visiting the Chicago area and was an avid Cubs fan, but is heartbroken by the city’s violence, DNAinfo.com reported.
The ACP’s website calls Chicago’s current gun policies “overzealous” and an “utter failure” that results in "historically high levels of gun violence."
Though Chicago has been in the spotlight for the gun violence debate with the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton and many others, Chicago recorded a 43 percent decrease in murders last month, according to police.
"The first four months of this year, we're in a position we haven't been in since the mid-'60s as far as the murder rate goes," Supt. Garry McCarthy told NBC 5.
McCarthy pointed to 84 fewer murders in the past seven months and about 180 fewer shootings so far this year.
So far this weekend, the city has recorded three people shot on the South and West sides.