Tonight on AC360: Free shotguns for AZ residents
April 1st, 2013
06:09 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Free shotguns for AZ residents

Will more guns reduce violence and make dangerous communities safer? Former Tucson, Arizona, mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky says arming citizens is the answer. He wants to hand out free shotguns to residents living in three Tucson neighborhoods plagued with high crime.

The national campaign that started in Houston, Texas, is meant to empower, but the concept is controversial. Hear from McClusky tonight, and a local councilman who's opposed to the initiative.

The plan includes advertising which areas are participating in the program, while keeping the specific homes with shotguns confidential. The intention is to keep criminals guessing which families are protecting themselves with firearms.

The Armed Citizen Project will give shotguns to residents who simply ask for them, provided those interested pass background checks and complete a day of training. The non-profit purchases guns with donations - McClusky says he has raised about $12,000 so far.

The group's website explains how they want to eventually use the program as evidence to support the pro-gun argument in the country's gun control debate. "The goal is to find if there exists a causal link between an increase in the presence of firearms and the level of crime."

At 8 and 11 p.m. ET, we'll talk with Mark Kelly, an Arizona resident who is strongly against the distribution of guns. Kelly's wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot, and six others were murdered, during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson. Tune in tonight for Miguel Marquez's report on the free shotgun campaign and tell us what you think on Twitter @AC360.


UPDATE Watch tonight's report:

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Filed under: Gun Control • Guns • Miguel Marquez
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Butch

    I am a sportsman, I hunt & target shoot. I am 100% for preserving all of our constituitional rights, and right now the 2nd and 1st are threatened. This could be an ok idea if thought out 110%, how will the shotgun and ammo be kept from children?

    April 7, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Butch

      Besides the gun safty couarse required to obtain a shotgun & ammo, what safty measures will be furnished to keep the gun and ammo away from children? there has been no such mention, even after the gun safty coarse this does not insure a parent will not forget and leave these accessable to a child.
      Thank you for this consideration.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  2. dee

    People have a right to defend themselves and family in the event of a real threat. Problem is this, our society is hot headed without constraint, angry, paranoid, delusional, and hateful. Put all of that in the hands of a shot gun or any other gun...No man will be left standing. Even the innocent will die.

    April 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  3. Pete

    How low do we stoop as a country to supply arms just to survive. No matter if you think this program is good, bad, or indifferent, it is obvious society has sunken to such a low level, animalistic, survival mode and has lost its sense of morality and community. Nobody is looking at the source of the problem. Why are there criminals? What will reduce that? How about participating in your community and working for a better world rather than building a fortress so you can hide behind in fear. Thats not living or evolving, it is mearly surviving in fear and nobody moves ahead.

    April 2, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  4. Will

    I dont think most people have any problem at all with shotguns. A non-automatic shotgun is a great device for home protection. What people have issue with are semi-autos that can be turned full auto in a process so easy a 13 year old could do it. Extended clips with 30+ rounds. Because if that first shot at the deer doesnt kill it, you sure need an other 29 make sure its dead... No other purpose than combat. I feel the gun crazy has to do with a bunch of insecure frightened people that have somehow convinced themselves their government is going to take their guns and then kill everyone they know, because... well, im not really sure what the logic is in that... Underlying white guilt being expressed by their subconscious thinks what goes around comes around? I love target shooting, grew up on the farm doing it all the time. I use bb and pellet guns. For target shooting, that's all you need, and it makes life a lot easier that you dont have to register or have a license to own them in any state.

    April 2, 2013 at 6:31 am |
  5. Dustin Wagner

    What kind of socialism is this 😛 ... Its funny but hey, communism of this state free form seems to work well. Let them be regulated with a background check (hopefully a check with the police and at least one or two people to attest to the persons mental health) and then receive a shotgun. Its a good idea.

    April 2, 2013 at 2:45 am |
  6. James

    If carried out properly this program could be successful. Unfortunately, our society has degraded to the point where people must assume some responsibility for their own safety. If the use of a defensive tool such as a firearm is the way they choose to protect themselves, so be it. The biggest hurdle this program will face is ensuring the people receiving these tools have access to adequate training. Proper training includes not only the safe use of these tools but also their secure storage to ensure access to them is not granted to unauthorized users (criminals and unsupervised children). I for one, am tired of our decent, responsible, citizens making exceptions to their lives in order to tiptoe around the criminal element of our society.

    April 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  7. Dave

    How long until the first lawsuit when a drunk husband/wife shoots their spouse with a "government supplied weapon"?

    April 1, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Visara

      He could use a hammer, screwdriver or knife too, you know. A gun isn't the only thing a drunk husband could kill his wife with. By the way, more people are killed by knives and hammers every year than guns.

      April 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  8. Shawn

    Statistics, where there are armed LAW ABIDING citizens, there is less crime.

    April 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Adrian

      Evidence please? Post a citation with your statement. BTW I'm independent on this matter, but of course of your statement is true, then it will be a strong argument to use on this debate.

      April 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  9. Bernard

    And thus, America's descent into "Idiocracy" is complete.

    April 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • dee

      Couldn't have said better myself!

      April 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm |

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