Archery ordinance to be passed in Surprise, Az

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  1. #1
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    Archery ordinance to be passed in Surprise, Az

    The local paper posted an article dated 09-19-08 that the city counsel was preparing to pass an ordinance that banned archery in the City of Surprise, unless it was at an approved range. There are no ranges in our city. I sent a letter to my representative, and have posted it below, along with email address. Please send support for a modification for the ordinance, to include the use of home ranges and schools.

    thanks,




    Email addresses:


    mayor@surpriseaz.com

    john.longabaugh@surpriseaz.com

    richard.alton@surpriseaz.com

    john.williams@surpriseaz.com

    roy.villanueva@surpriseaz.com

    joe.johnson@surpriseaz.com

    skip.hall@surpriseaz.com


    My letter to Mr. Williams:


    Mr. Williams,



    I am a relatively new resident of Surprise, with our new home that is built in Surprise Farms. I am a police officer for El Mirage, and recently transferred down as a detective from the Flagstaff Police Department. Family is important to me, and activities that promote family time together top that list. While in Flagstaff, I had the opportunity to shoot archery in my backyard, with my children and wife. It is a pastime that we all enjoy. I have a history with the sport of archery, to include bow hunting and shooting archery for Glendale Community College in the early 1990's, and being ranked nationally. I have represented the State of AZ in a tournament against archers from the State of California, Baja California and Sonora Mexico. We took 1st place individually and as a team.



    Archery once was taught in high schools in AZ and across the nation. It is a pastime that can be shared for generations. My father taught me to shoot archery, and I have taught my children. The proposed ban of shooting archery in our city at facilities that are not deemed "target ranges", limits that family interaction. The City of Surprise does not currently have an archery range. The closest archery range is the facility at the Ben Avery Shooting facility, which is approximately 1 hour away from my house. A total of 2 hours of driving time (to and fro) for approximately 30 minutes of shooting with my children is a detriment to my family's personal quality time together.



    As a police officer, I understand the call for the general safety of the public. I understand that the "wants" of an individual are outweighed by the "needs" of the many. However, I respectfully request that the counsel review the proposed ordinance carefully and perhaps apply words that allow for private home ranges, if safety precautions are heeded. I understand that the ordinance will also ban the firing of pneumatic weapons, which can be used for intentionally destructive purposes, i.e... breaking windows.



    The difference between firing a pneumatic weapon and archery equipment boils down to the traceable, recoverable evidence should a mishap occur. A pellet fired from a gun is non-distinct. An arrow fired from a bow is unique, often with different color feathers/vanes, color and material of the shaft, and color of the nock. Often, one arrow will be part of a matched set that the archer owns.



    The home range can be constructed in the privacy of a person's fenced, back yard. The fence would provide privacy from neighbors, and protection from an errant arrow. The target shall be placed so that it is not in a direct line with an adjoining neighbor's residential structure. The target shall also be constructed of a material that adequately stops the arrow, and prevents it from completely passing through the intended target.



    The lack of an archery range in the City of Surprise will potentially have an effect on the game animals hunted in the State. Inadequate practice could result in the wounding of game animals that may not have been wounded if bowhunters had the opportunity to practice at their residences with an adequate practice facility.



    The ordinance would also potentially prohibit the teaching of archery at the local high schools. In a society where apathy and the lack of exercise for children has resulted in enormous amounts of childhood obesity, removing the ability to teach an outdoor sport to children may have long term effects that are not immediately realized.



    I respectfully request, as a representative for my district, that you word the ordinance that would provide safety for the public, yet not restrict honest measures taken by home owners to have an adequate home archery range in the privacy of their own fenced back yard, as long as an adequate target/backstop is provided. If the arrows need to be even more traceable, make it an ordinance that requires the archer's initials be embossed or painted on the arrow. In addition, please word the ordinance to include the ability to have archery programs at local schools and public ranges.



    I am posting a copy of this letter on message boards via the internet with email addresses for each district's representative. This is an attempt to rally support on the behalf of archers in our city.





    Thank you in advance.



    Respectfully,



    John E. Heffelfinger

    Surprise District 3 resident

    623-236-4506 cell
    If you blame others for your failures, give them credit when you succeed!

  2. Postbit 1 Here

  3. #2
    Good luck with this. I wish I could shoot in the back yard at my home. This has been a law in my town for about 10 years.

  4. Postbit 2 Here
  5. #3
    i lived out in surpise fo around 7 years (about 5 years ago). a little background 10-15 years ago or so surpise was a little peice of nothing that was just far away enough from pheonix that few people were there. then as urban sprawl caught up the population exploded and in place once had a very small suburban city center(of mostly old retired people) and a lot of out lying rural land (pivate homes on 1-10 acres of land) became the new yuppie paridise and the city council forgot about the rural part and the fact that many people still live in the outlying area. One other unfortunate thing (of many with with the city government) is the old mayor a b&%$ named schafer would try to do anything she wanted weither the people of the city wated it or not, legal or not. i seem to remember her loosing multiple lawsuits and having been in a small scandal right after i moved out.

    anyway the point is there is now a large area of the city that is suburban with very small yards where archery may not be such a good area but there are other places where people own enough land that if they stood at one side shot their bow at a 45 degree angle it wouldn't pass the property line on the other side. Unfortunately theese are the people the mayor and the city council ignore (or used to at least).

  6. #4
    Good luck That really sucks I shoot in my back yard and I do not know what I would do if I could not do that.

  7. #5
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    I wish you luck. Have you received a response from anyone?

  8. #6
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    Chip,

    I sent an e-mail of support (for you) to your mayor. Hope it does some good.

    Dave

  9. #7
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    I know this is a very old thread. I moved here to Surprise last year and was told by our neighbors that it was illegal to shoot my bow. Others have said it is completely legal to shoot on my property or any green space in Surprise. I've searched for the answer and came across this thread. However, I've also come across an ordinance, of unknown timeframe, that states it's illegal. Just looking for some clarification.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  10. #8
    Join Date
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    a quick search revealed Surprise, AZ Ordinance located at

    http://surpriseaz.gov/DocumentCenter/View/21949


    Sec. 34-73. Restrictions on discharge, concealment and handling.
    It is unlawful for any person within the limits of the city to fire or discharge:
    (a) Any firearm, BB gun, air gun, pellet gun, dart gun, slingshot, gas-operated gun, cross bow, blow gun,or other similar gun or instrument; or
    (b) Any arrow from a bow unless:
    (1) The discharge occurs on private property, with the consent of the owner, from a location no less than 125 feet from any property line, by an individual or under the supervision of an individual who is 18 years of age or older; or
    (2) The discharge is done by a government agent in furtherance of his or her official duties; or
    (3) The discharge is done pursuant to Title 13, Chapter 4, Arizona Revised Statute[s]; or
    (4) The discharge occurs on non-residential property as part of a properly supervised range.
    Properly supervised range means any non-residential location operated by or immediately
    supervised by a governmental agency, public or private school, or an adult who is a member of
    a company, group, or affiliated with a recognized archery shooting organization.

    Title 13, Chapter 4, Arizona Revised Statutes covers:

    http://www.azleg.gov/arizonareviseds...s.asp?Title=13

    Chapter 4 JUSTIFICATION
    13-401 Unavailability of justification defense; justification as defense
    13-402 Justification; execution of public duty
    13-403 Justification; use of physical force
    13-404 Justification; self‑defense
    13-405 Justification; use of deadly physical force
    13-406 Justification; defense of a third person
    13-407 Justification; use of physical force in defense of premises
    13-408 Justification; use of physical force in defense of property
    13-409 Justification; use of physical force in law enforcement
    13-410 Justification; use of deadly physical force in law enforcement
    13-411 Justification; use of force in crime prevention; applicability
    13-412 Duress
    13-413 No civil liability for justified conduct
    13-414 Justification; use of reasonable and necessary means
    13-415 Justification; domestic violence
    13-416 Justification; use of reasonable and necessary means; definition
    13-417 Necessity defense
    13-418 Justification; use of force in defense of residential structure or occupied vehicles; definitions
    13-419 Presumptions; defense of a residential structure or occupied vehicle; exceptions; definitions
    13-420 Attorney fees; costs
    13-421 Justification; defensive display of a firearm; definition
    Bob Furman

    Archery Motto: Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.

  11. #9
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    I figured as much. That's the exact ordinance that came up in my search as well. Ridiculous.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  12. #10
    I'm no lawyer, but it looks like the ordanance allows you to shoot on private property as long as you're 125ft from a property line by or with someone over 18. Or on a range (area designated for archery setup by the govt or a certified coach).

  13. #11
    It disheartening to read about the continued government overreach at all levels in the US. What I find even more disheartening are all the comments inviting even more government into our lives. Why would a law abiding citizen suggest he would be willing to pay a permit fee and subject himself to additional government scrutiny is beyond me. Never give up hard won freedom if the cost to win it back is more that you are willing to pay.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostnthewoods View Post
    Why would a law abiding citizen....
    Let me stop you right there.

    Are you suggesting that maybe it is more plausible that a law breaker would pay a permit fee and subject herself to additional government scrutiny? Or a law abiding citizen would pay a permit fee to avoid subjecting herself to government scrutiny?

    So who are these law abiding citizens? How do you know if one is or is not? Perhaps you could wait until some of them misuse their equipment, then, wait for a couple more, just to be sure?
    Everyone knows that the ignore function is useless.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by theminoritydude View Post
    Let me stop you right there.

    Are you suggesting that maybe it is more plausible that a law breaker would pay a permit fee and subject herself to additional government scrutiny? Or a law abiding citizen would pay a permit fee to avoid subjecting herself to government scrutiny?

    So who are these law abiding citizens? How do you know if one is or is not? Perhaps you could wait until some of them misuse their equipment, then, wait for a couple more, just to be sure?
    You are missing my point. Per the OP there has been no injury incurred either people or property. So the local goverment decides that the common sense thing to do is to create local law as a solution for a problem that does not currently exist. This solution would then require codification and enforcement. These actions will require a financial expenditure. As government creates no wealth it must use tax dollars to fund the creation and enforcment of a law that is being imposed upon the citizens (in this case rather arbitrarily). This is the very definition of tyranny. I do recall a certain revolution that was spurred buy simmilar actions.

    A citizen is presumed to be law abiding until proven otherwise in this country. Are you saying that laws only apply to those that break them?

    My point is that many in the face of tyranny seem to agree to submit to it rather than fight it. Suggesting that one would agree to licenseing and the creation of more government and it's associated costs let alone invite it upon themselves is simply mind boggling at the minimum and wholly un-American.

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostnthewoods View Post
    You are missing my point. Per the OP there has been no injury incurred either people or property. So the local goverment decides that the common sense thing to do is to create local law as a solution for a problem that does not currently exist.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_VtccbaZOc


    Quote Originally Posted by Lostnthewoods View Post
    This solution would then require codification and enforcement. These actions will require a financial expenditure. As government creates no wealth it must use tax dollars to fund the creation and enforcment of a law that is being imposed upon the citizens (in this case rather arbitrarily). This is the very definition of tyranny. I do recall a certain revolution that was spurred buy simmilar actions.
    Refer to link, again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lostnthewoods View Post
    A citizen is presumed to be law abiding until proven otherwise in this country. Are you saying that laws only apply to those that break them?
    Depends on how you would like to find out who the law should apply to. Like waiting for the next shooting?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lostnthewoods View Post
    My point is that many in the face of tyranny seem to agree to submit to it rather than fight it. Suggesting that one would agree to licenseing and the creation of more government and it's associated costs let alone invite it upon themselves is simply mind boggling at the minimum and wholly un-American.
    You keep using the word tyranny. You're saying that there exists a tyrannical power out there who is hell bent on preventing an incident from happening by going to the trouble of making arrangements at a small cost so that the larger part of your community can be reasonably protected, AND at the same time letting you have your fun.

    You don't know tyranny.
    Everyone knows that the ignore function is useless.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by theminoritydude View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_VtccbaZOc




    Refer to link, again.




    Depends on how you would like to find out who the law should apply to. Like waiting for the next shooting?




    You keep using the word tyranny. You're saying that there exists a tyrannical power out there who is hell bent on preventing an incident from happening by going to the trouble of making arrangements at a small cost so that the larger part of your community can be reasonably protected, AND at the same time letting you have your fun.

    You don't know tyranny.
    Actually living in NY I know quite a lot about tyranny. Tyranny can and does happen at all levels of government.

    Tyranny: arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.

    I also fail to see how a sensless act of criminality committed in another country has anything to do with the topic of this thread. I encourage anyone wishing to subject themselves to micromanagment of their personal liberties to move to another country and not try to change mine.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Thnomas Jefferson

    Thanks for the lively debate though.

  18. #16
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    Too bad this old thread took a turn for the worse. Bummer.
    If you blame others for your failures, give them credit when you succeed!

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