Florida group seeking volunteers to "reduce crime" with a free shotgun and ammunition

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Ron Ritter admits his gun display is excessive.

"But," Ritter explained, "What it ultimately says is, 'There's nothing in my house that's worth your life.'"

Ritter serves as Florida Director of the Armed Citizen Project. In the last few weeks, the group passed out flyers notifying neighbors of their free shotgun program.

The flyer asks for volunteers interested in reducing crime with a free shotgun and ammunition, after passing a background check and gun safety course.

"When the good people in your neighborhood are armed, you're safer," Ritter said.

"Gun laws only keep good people from getting guns. They don't keep criminals from getting guns."

Ritter believes criminals will steer clear of armed households. They plan to begin the program this week, focusing on a neighborhood in Brooksville.

"Putting more guns in circulation is crazy," Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Arthur Hayhoe. "But we've been going through this for how many years in Florida now?"

Hayoe spent his adult life researching gun violence. His office is littered with newspaper articles and books on the topic.

"[A gun] is a greater danger to the family than it ever would be to any criminal," he said. "Fear sells guns."

Ritter calls that "propaganda".

"You get propaganda from the other side," he said.

Ritter counts hundreds of applicants already.

ACP already has 50 donated shotguns, as well as training sessions and background check fees. The entire package would normally cost someone about $500.

They hope to arm 1,000 households by the end of 2013.

"It takes time for a police officer to get there. It doesn't take very long for my bullet to get there," Ritter said.

For more information, visit http://armedcitizenproject.org/

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