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Colorado businessman offers free AR-15 rifles to local temples for protection

A Colorado man is offering free AR-15s to to area temples for protection in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Mel Bernstein, owner of Dragonman's — a gun range, military museum, paintball center, and weapon retailer outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado — is offering free AR-15s to area temples for protection following Saturday's deadly synagogue massacre.

A suspected mass murderer opened fire Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and killed 11 people and injured several more in the attack.

What are the details of Bernstein's offer?

According to KRDO-TV, Bernstein — who is also Jewish — has an enticing offer to any rabbi who wants to protect his or her congregation.

Bernstein is offering to give away free AR-15s and 100 rounds of ammunition to any rabbi who is interested.

Bernstein is also willing to provide professional firearm training, according to KOAA-TV.

The estimated value of the deal is about $650. Typical regulations would, of course, remain in place, such as background checks.

In an interview with KOAA, Bernstein compared an active shooter situation to combating a fire. Bernstein said that if a fire broke out, you'd reach for a fire extinguisher. He believes that reaching for a weapon during an attempted attack is the equivalent to reaching for a fire extinguisher to put out a fire.

To Bernstein — and apparently many more — it only makes sense.

Speaking to the station, Jeff Ader of Temple Beit Torah in Colorado Springs, discussed Bernstein's offer, and said he was considering taking Bernstein up on the proposal.

The station also spoke with a local woman to attends various synagogues in the area. The woman said that she also appreciated Bernstein's offer, but said that the weapon is too large. She noted that she's on board with rabbis carrying handguns, and said that many of the people with whom she visits the synagogues already carry concealed weapons.

You can read more about Bernstein's business here.

One last thing…
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