Conoy Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has taken a unique approach to deterring crime. The township now sports signs that read:
Welcome to Conoy Twp. THIS IS NOT A GUN FREE ZONE
The signs are being strategically placed along all of the roads leading into the community. They serve as a warning to anyone considering committing a crime against local residents.
The signs aren’t bluffing. The township supports an active hunting community, meaning many homes keeps at least one gun.
After residents voiced concerns about break-ins in neighboring towns, local officials decided to go on the offensive. Conoy Township supervisor Stephen Mohr told 21 News, the Harrisburg CBS affiliate, that it’s a part of being proactive:
We take pride in what’s ours and we want to keep it.
The township took into consideration research on crime and gun-free zones. A research report from the U.S. Department of Justice surveyed incarcerated felons about what deters them from crime against certain home and targets.
Citing the report, GunOwners.Org states:
57% of felons polled agreed that “criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.”
But that’s not all:
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.”
Burglars look for “soft target” homes. This means unoccupied or low security houses. A 2001 article published in the Arizona Law Review implies armed homeowners could significantly reduce crime. In Canada and the UK, burglaries while occupants are home occur much more often than in the United States.
In Britain, the burglary rate of occupied homes is 59 percent. In the United States, it’s 28 percent. Perhaps, criminals in the U.S. know they face less risk when breaking in to an empty house. The chance of an armed owner in the UK is much lower.
Conoy Township plans to install a total of 16 signs. The signs’ total cost would be about $500. Right now, they’re covering the complete cost, thought many residents have offered to pay for the signs out of pocket.
—Courtesy of IJ Review