A gun advocacy group announced this weekend their hope to distribute free shotguns to unarmed people living in some of the most high-crime areas of 15 U.S. cities, including Chicago.

The Houston-based Armed Citizen Project announced at the National Rifle Association convention that they want to expand their gun giveaway program to hundreds of people living in major cities by the end of the year.

Kyle Coplen, the group's founder, said he believes the program -- which has already been launched in Houston and Tucson -- will help deter crime. New York and Detroit are also on the group's list of cities they are hoping to reach with their project. According to WGN, 100 people in Houston have already signed up.

"It is our hypothesis that criminals have no desire to die in your hallway. We want to use that fear," Coplen, 29, previously explained of his project.

The shotgun giveaways are funded by private donations, according to ABC Houston.

According to CBS Chicago, the group is checking with their legal team to ensure that their gun giveaway program would be legal in Chicago given the city's typically more restrictive gun laws.

The Armed Citizen Project's website describes that the group is "choosing mid-high crime neighborhoods in cities across America, and offering defensive weapons to citizens that can pass a background check, and that will take our safety, legal, and tactical training."

Chicago has been plagued by gun violence in recent years, resulting in a homicide rate surpassing 500 last year for the first time in four years. Though homicides this year are off to a historically low start, 20 people were wounded citywide over the course of 10 hours the first day temperatures in the area surpassed 80 degrees last week.

Related on HuffPost:


***

Loading Slideshow...
  • Dallas Morning News

    <a href="http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2013/04/and-speaking-of-cowards-the-senate-gun-vote-is-an-appalling-for-hardliners-and-hypocrites.html/" target="_blank">"And Speaking Of Cowards, The Senate Gun Vote Is An Appalling Victory For Hardliners And Hypocrites"</a>

  • Hartford Courant

    <a href="http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-ed-congress-chickens-out-on-gun-background-chec-20130417,0,6608900.story" target="_blank">"Cowards In Congress Fold On Background Checks"</a>

  • Sacramento Bee

    <a href="http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/18/5350869/senate-thumbs-nose-at-public-with.html#storylink=cpy" target="_blank">"Senate Thumbs Nose At Public With Gun Vote"</a>

  • Sun-Sentinel (Fla.)

    <a href="http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/editorials/sfl-gun-control-reform-failure-a-shame-20130418,0,5537882.story" target="_blank">“Failed Gun Control Reform A Shame: Are You Listening Marco Rubio?" </a>

  • Connecticut Post

    <a href="http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Another-failure-in-Washington-4442606.php#ixzz2QpMumIWx" target="_blank">"Another Failure In Washington"</a>

  • The Washington Post

    <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-senates-cowardly-act-on-gun-control/2013/04/17/d8b4b108-a7aa-11e2-b029-8fb7e977ef71_story.html" target="_blank">"The Senate Misfires On Gun Control"</a>

  • USA Today

    <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/04/17/gun-background-checks-senate-editorials-debates/2090863/" target="_blank">"Senate Fails Newtown, Common Sense: Our View"</a>

  • The New York Times

    <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opinion/the-senate-fails-americans-on-gun-bills.html?hp" target="_blank">"The Senate Fails Americans"</a>

  • New York Daily News

    <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion#ixzz2Qq2ALZee" target="_blank">"Shame In The Senate"</a>

  • Minneapolis Star Tribune

    <a href="http://www.startribune.com/opinion/editorials/203498301.html" target="_blank">"Senate Inaction On Guns Is Shameful"</a>

  • Kansas City Star

    <a href="http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/17/4187494/cowardice-on-gun-safety.html#storylink=cpy" target="_blank">"Cowardly U.S. Senate Thwarts Will Of Public On Gun Safety"</a>

  • Chicago Tribune

    <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-guns-20130418,0,839417.story" target="_blank">"A Vote For Violence"</a>

  • Chicago Sun-Times

    <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/19543775-474/editorial-a-shameful-day-on-gun-laws-reform.html" target="_blank">"A ‘Shameful Day’ On Gun Laws Reform"</a>

  • Newsday

    <a href="http://www.newsday.com/opinion/editorial-vote-on-background-checks-reveals-cowards-of-senate-1.5092590" target="_blank">"Vote On Background Checks Reveals Cowards Of Senate"</a>

  • The Baltimore Sun

    <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-senate-gun-bill-20130418,0,4711777.story#ixzz2QqAwzzyI" target="_blank">"In Senate Gun Control Vote, Tyranny Of The Minority"</a>

  • Asbury Park Press

    <a href="http://www.app.com/article/20130418/NJOPINION01/304180022/NRA-wins-battle-not-war?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1" target="_blank">"NRA Wins Battle, But Not The War"</a>

  • Los Angeles Times

    <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-0418-guns-20130418,0,2453493.story" target="_blank">"What Now On Gun Control?"</a>

  • San Francisco Chronicle

    <a href="http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Shame-of-the-Senate-4442910.php#ixzz2QpF2krGR" target="_blank">"Shame Of The Senate"</a>

  • San Jose Mercury News

    <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_23046651/mercury-news-editorial-congress-failure-pass-background-check" target="_blank">"Congress' Failure To Pass Background Check Bill A Betrayal Of Newtown Victims, American People"</a>

  • Star-Ledger (N.J.)

    <a href="http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2013/04/the_shameful_senate_vote_on_gu.html" target="_blank">"The <strong>Shameful </strong>Senate Vote On Gun Control"</a>