'No trespassing' sign across from middle school worries parents

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. —

A sign placed on a lot across the street from a middle school in Bellingham has some parents worried about their children going near the property.

 

A property owner placed a "no trespassing" sign on a site across Fairhaven Middle School to warn thieves.

 

The sign doesn’t threaten to shoot the thieves, but it warns that there is a gun on the property four days a week.

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Lee Stoll spoke with parents who said their children can’t avoid the sign on the way to school.

 

“I just think it’s inappropriate under this particular circumstance, this close to a school,” said Frank Youngblood.

 

The parents also said their kids are old enough to understand the four words in all-capital letters -- Glock, F&N, Kahr and Ruger -- are guns.

 

The sign grabbed the attention of a group of students at the school.

 

“That means that if a kid doesn’t know what they mean, they can go on the property and get shot,” said Colby Antico,

 

Youngblood said the students, like his two teenage children, have had to hear the details of recent school shootings, and now they have to see the sign.

 

“For my daughter, it’s scary,” said Youngblood.  

 

KIRO 7 tried to speak with the property owner, Elliot Fine, and workers on the site about the sign but was not able to talk with them.

 

The school district said Fine spoke with school leaders and plans to keep the sign up.

 

“We do not support this advertisement of weapons, but the sign is not on our property, and we have no authority on this issue,” said Executive Director Tanya Rowe of Bellingham Public Schools.

 

Mark Young of the Bellingham Police Department said Fine put up the sign after being burglarized in December. Legally, there is nothing police can do.

 

“It doesn’t change the fact that it’s not illegal,” said Young.

 

Young said  the property owner does not have the right to shoot any intruder unless the owner thinks there is an immediate threat to himself or someone else.