A Mt. Vernon man is giving away free guns to those who meet his requirements: pass the “babysitter test,” have a FOID card and be a woman.
Robert Bertrand started Help 50 to give interested women a pump-action shotgun after a background check.
“Especially in Mt. Vernon, some areas are kind of rough. A lot of people are worried about burglars in the middle of the night,” Bertrand told the BND.
Bertrand, who says he’s “not a gun person,” partly modeled the program after a now-defunct program in Texas. He says those women interested in a free gun must pass a background check, must possess a valid Firearm Owners Identification and be someone he would trust with his own child, or what he calls “the babysitter test.”
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And why only women?
“I’m not giving them to guys, because they always ask for guns,” Bertrand said.
As of Tuesday, Help 50 has given four women each a 20-guage H&R pump compact and has another 30 interested. The four women include a single mother and a nurse. They will get NRA-certified safety training in October, he said.
The website at www.help50.org/ takes donations, but is not a registered not-for-profit.