This Dude Wants to Hand Out Free Shotguns to New Yorkers


When it comes to guns, New Yorkers know a thing or two. In August, people traded in 509 guns at a gun buyback program in Queens for cold hard cash; in September, monetary prizes were handed out in exchange for 85 guns in total over in Bushwick. This was followed a few months later with the signing of Governor Cuomo’s gun control bill, as New York became the first state to actually do something about guns in a post-Newtown America.

And then we found out about this guy.

Kyle Coplen is the founder of the Armed Citizen Project. The mission of the organization is in its name: Coplen’s group believes that the hoi polloi should be just as strapped as the police. By doing so, he argues that crime will slowly dissipate since, well, everyone will both figuratively and literally have a gun to their heads.

Coplen believes that the residents of New York City, under the anti-gun oversight of Bloomberg, Kelly and Cuomo, need guns in their hands more than ever. His plan? To give out free shotguns and training to learn how to use said shotgun to whoever wants one.

Now, this pipe dream is, of course, going to hit a few clogs.

First off, all the applicants are going to have to pass background checks, all of which have been expanded under Cuomo’s bill. Then, of course, there are licensing fees: it’s $140 for a shotgun license, plus $91 for a fingerprinting scan. Oh, and the shotguns are $200 a pop. And, to fund these expenditures, Coplen’s privately funded non-profit will ask other New Yorkers for donations.

However, the NYPD has some authority to deny gun licenses If an applicant fails a background check or has a criminal history. Also, if the applicant even seems to “lack character,” a license can be revoked. But if all those applicants were simply subsidiaries of this group, that could be a discrimination case waiting to happen.

“I guess the Bloomberg administration doesn’t want poor people to be able to defend themselves. I guess that right is left to the elites,” Coplen told the Daily News.

His goal is to have the program up and running by the end of the year. So… yeah, this guy exists.