Gun group giving away shotguns near Zimmerman neighborhood

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The Armed Citizen Project has come to Florida.

Some 20 miles from where Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, the Armed Citizen Project of Florida announced plans to give away shotguns to homeowners, according to a local NBC affiliate.

The gun advocacy group was formed by Kyle Coplen, a Houston man fed up with crime in his neighborhood. Coplen founded the organization after a World War II veteran had his house broken into, and accepts donations to assist in providing neighbors with free shotguns.

Armed Citizen Project is now moving beyond Houston, with members going door-to-door in an Orlando neighborhood passing out fliers to advertise the free firearms, according to NBC affiliate WESH.

Ron Ritter, the program director for the state of Florida, told WESH that he hopes the group works with gun manufacturers and dealers to give free or discounted guns to homeowners.

“This is perfectly legal, permitting guns to be handed out,” Ritter said.

To qualify for a firearm, residents are required to pass a background check and a firearms training course that covers legal, safety and tactical training.

“We’re giving folks the tools with which to defend their life, liberty and property, we’re training them how to use the weapons and empowering citizens,” Coplen told a CBS affiliate in Chicago recently.

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