A community in Pennsylvania is hoping an investment in road signs will pay off by deterring criminal activity.
Conoy Township officials approved signs warning would-be criminals, “This Is Not A Gun Free Zone,” to be placed along roads leading into the community.
The township, with a population of about 3,300 people, appropriated $500 to purchase 16 roadside signs that both welcome visitors and warn crooks they’re entering a pro-gun zone.
The signs reflect the hunting community’s beliefs and faith, says one township official.
“You have to realize that to most people in this township God, guns, family and friends are the four most important things,” says Conoy Township supervisor Stephen Mohr, the man who initially proposed the signage.
Mohr’s hoping the signs will make a positive impact on the township’s crime rate, which has been steadily increasing.
“Over the last six months we’ve seen more and more home invasions and petty crime, so we thought these signs would show people we take pride in what we own,” Mohr, also a lifetime NRA member, said.
But other residents are rejecting the novel crime deterrent, saying it paints the community in a bad light.
“I think it gives the area a feeling that I’m not sure the people want to convey,” one person expressed to Lancaster Online. “Knowing guns are around doesn’t make me feel any safer.”
Others simply think the signs won’t do much good.
“I personally don’t think it will deter someone. People don’t read those signs,” another person interviewed remarked.
Mohr maintains that the signs should only appear threatening to those who wish to cause harm.
“I’m hoping the first image is that these people are pretty nice, they’re putting the welcome sign out for us,” Mohr told Fox43.com. “And it’s only the ones that are coming with ulterior motives that even the ‘Not a gun-free zone’ will even sink into.”
“You’re welcome to Conoy Township, it’s just follow the rules and the regulations.”
The town reportedly took into consideration results of a Justice Department study, compiled by Gun Owners of America, showing that “3/5 of felons polled agreed that ‘a criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun.'”
Additionally, “74% of felons polled agreed that ‘one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime,” and “57% of felons polled agreed that ‘criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.'”
Of course, the effectiveness of touting a town’s pro-gun laws is best exemplified by the town of Kennesaw, Georgia, where the crime rate virtually ceased after a 1982 law required every household to possess a firearm.