Gun group plans shotgun giveaway in Orange County neighborhood



ORLANDO, Fla. - A gun group is offering free shotguns to residents in an Orange County neighborhood, and said the giveaway could extend to all over Orlando.

Members of the Armed Citizen Project said arming residents is a way to stop crime in the area. The group said it has been handing out fliers in the Sunshine Gardens neighborhood.

According to reports, Florida program director Ron Ritter said his group hopes to work with gun manufacturers and dealers to provide free or discounted guns to homeowners. He said the effort is "perfectly legal."

However, resident Robin McLaughlin said she's not interested. McLaughlin said she has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years and sees no reason to arm residents.

At first it appeared just residents of Sunshine Gardens in north Orange County would get a free shotgun but Eyewitness News just learned the free gun giveaway is for people all over Orlando.

"Overall, it's a stupid idea," said Russell Bennett, Sunshine Gardens resident.

Six-year resident Linda Bennett said the only thing worth fearing on her block are ghosts and scare crows.

"Nobody needs a shotgun in their home. Not with everything going on right now," Linda Bennett said.

"It's a very safe neighborhood. I've never seen anything bad in the neighborhood."

Not everyone in Sunrise Gardens thinks free shotguns are a bad idea.

"If it needs to be, if it's an area that needs to be, then yes," resident Chase Wiese said.

The ACP said only people who pass a safety course and federal background check will get a gun.

Ritter said the shotgun giveaway will soon expand across the entire city of Orlando.

"It's a proven fact that anytime you arm your neighbors, you're making your neighborhood safer," Ritter said.