Community leaders to give free school supplies to counter free g - Tucson News Now

Community leaders to give free school supplies to counter free guns

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Midvale Park, Jefferson Park, and Pueblo Gardens neighborhoods have launched a school supply drive to prove their efforts can curb crime better than free shot-guns.

The group is taking aim at the Armed Citizen Project in which organizer Shaun McClusky wants to help arm residents in high-crime areas.

"I feel it is irresponsible to be giving away guns and be completely out of touch with the greater Tucson community," says supply drive organizer, Sal Baldenegro.

McClusky says he supports the supply drive and will donate if asked.

"Absolutely, have Sal give me a call.  I'll give him a couple hundred dollars tomorrow.  I have no problem with that," says McClusky.

Baldenegro says he will take a donation from McClusky if it is sincere.

"If he really wanted to help out, he would take the money that he's taking from his gun program and put it towards this."

McClusky admits he's received some backlash from residents opposing the Armed Citizen Project.  The program includes a free shot-gun for residents in high-crime areas, but it will also require recipients to go through weapons training.

McClusky says his effort is gaining momentum.

"We've been receiving probably 500 request from individuals who want to participate in the program from the target areas and the non-target areas."

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now.  All rights reserved.

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