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'This is not a gun free zone': Greenleaf signs send strong message

New welcome signs let visitors know many residents in Greenleaf are armed.

If you drive through the small town of Greenleaf in Canyon County, you may notice their unorthodox welcome signs.

"Welcome to Greenleaf, Idaho. This is Not a Gun Free Zone."

The signs have been up for a few months, and residents say they reflect the attitude in the town.

"We are a big family out here in Greenleaf," said Kelly McBride, who has lived in the city for over 10 years. "It's a small town. I think all of us having a gun shows that we are a respectable society."

Five signs were installed, one at each entrance to the city. A city council member says the Idaho Transportation Department needed to approve two of the signs since they were planned for Highway 19, which is a state highway. He says the city got the approval last year.

The same city council member says the signs were paid for through private donations, so their installation did not cost the city any money.

Greenleaf is a city of just over 800 people that urges residents to own firearms and get weapons training in their city code. It has a very low crime rate, but some residents tell KBOI 2News that the signs are just an extra layer of protection.

"There's a right place for guns," McBride said. "A place that they can be used. We should have the right to protect ourselves from criminals and hopefully these kind of signs deter crime in the long run."

Citizens overwhelmingly support the signs, but the city council member says they did have opposition in the past. Another complaint some residents have is that the message is unclear.

"When they first went up, I actually had to read them twice because of the 'not a gun free zone,'" said Gordon Bates, a Greenleaf resident. "You kind of have to read that. I wish I was a little more clear."

Locals say the town's overall stance on gun rights has drawn more people to live in the town, rather than scaring people off.

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