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Thread: Archery ordinance to be passed in Surprise, Az

  1. #1
    Join Date
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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. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Utah
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    716
    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.
    Keep Them Gold

  3. #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).

  4. #4
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    Washington, Maine
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    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.

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

  6. #6
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Chip,

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

    Dave



  7. #7
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    Oct 2003
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    Arizona
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    825
    Chip,
    I also sent a note to your mayor.
    Besides pointing out the fact that safety comes first, with target shooters, I also proposed that if the city decides to pass such an asinine ordinance, they should, at least, allow the police to offer a multi-year permit to those who can demonstrate safe usage.
    I also pointed out that those who have been shooting on their property for some time will likely be screaming, perhaps litigating, that they have to be grandfathered in.
    Good luck,
    Mike Braunstein

  8. #8
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    May 2004
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    Surprise, Az
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    1,342
    Thanks for the support. I recieved an email from my counselman representing my district. He thanked me for the letter and the suggestions. He said that he was pulling the second reading of the ordinance this Thursday, and offering it for another date so that the public can weigh in on it.

    Bob Pian of the ASAA also is rallying support. I hope that the counselmembers will take the suggestions under consideration. Thanks for the support. Please continue with the emails to the mayor and counsel members.
    If you blame others for your failures, give them credit when you succeed!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Surprise, Az
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    1,342
    We were successful tonight at the city counsel meeting! Residents spoke, including myself, and representatives from the Az Game and Fish, in addition to KJ, representing the ASAA. The counsel unanoumously decided to pull the words BOW and ARROW from the proposed ordinance, and will look into a separate ordinance that regulated the use of archery, to include scouts, businesses, schools and home use. Thanks for everyones support!
    If you blame others for your failures, give them credit when you succeed!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Olathe, Kansas
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    378
    Congrats! If only it was free to shoot in any state (Kansas) It would be nice if they had a permit system like Licenses where you take safety tests. Oh well

    Grats!

  11. #11
    Archery Okay in Surprise
    9-25-08
    Surprise AZ, City Council Meeting Report

    Thanks to the wonderful representation and speaking by the Arizona target archery community the Surprise city council removed “Bow and Arrows” ban from a proposed fire arms/weapon ordinance.

    City of Surprise residents, Eric Bennett(USA Paralympics Archer, Teacher), John Heffelfinger (Collegiate Archery Alum, State Archery Team, Detective)
    and two other Surprise citizens spoke about the benefits of responsible archery.
    Kari J Granville, attorney, spoke to the law as it relates to Arizona Revised Statues as well as constitutional principals and the trail blazing nature of creation of archery specific law.
    The Arizona Game and Fish Department also spoke in reference to the need for tools to execute their mission.

    Little if anything could have been done better including a lucky coincidence of a Boy Scout Troop in the Council meeting audience to observe city government in action.
    Three extra archery supporters in the audience to yield time to allow Granville to speak in excess of the 3 minute limit.
    The Police Chief spoke of the need to develop law that is readily understood and easily enforceable and welcomed the opportunity to work a solution.

    The City council quickly and decisively removed “Bow and Arrow” from the proposed wording of the ban ordinance by unanimous vote.
    As exciting as the current preservation of the status quo is the Arizona target archery community’s opportunity (KJ Granville) to work with the City of Surprise to establish an ordinance that has the making of a Best Code model ordinance.

    Thanks to all who offered comments, support and help.
    Surprise residents John “Chip” Heffelfinger and Eric Bennett expressed thanks for the out pouring of support and action.
    It was a team effort!
    We could not have chosen a better City to work with to develop an archery specific ordinance as council members pay special attention to the voice of their citizenry.
    Surprise has remarkable citizen archers.
    Note that the ATA and the NFAA staff responded quickly to the call for help in the form of technical information and advice.

    ASAA council meeting attendees:
    Eric Bennett
    John E Heffelfinger
    Kari J Granville (Collegiate archery leader, 2008 Top Overall Indoor, Field, FITA Champion and USAA World Team Member, attorney)
    Lynn Van Patter (ASAA Membership coordinator)
    Skylar Van Patter (JOAD)
    Janice Price (AAE AZ Cup)
    Bob Pian (ASAA Team Liaison)

    Other:
    Arizona Game and Fish Department Officer
    Former Boy Scout Leader
    Large parcel property owner representative.
    Boy Scouts

    End
    Serious Fun...
    Bob Pian, Judge, Coach, AZJOAD Events
    www.arizonacup.com - www.azarchery.com - www.azjoad.com

  12. #12
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    That is really good news.
    P.I./ W&W4L/ Whatever... Pro Staff

  13. #13
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    Jun 2007
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    Wilmington DE
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    Just out of curiosity was anyone injured or any property damaged by an arrow resulting in this ordinance? Any drive by Ninja shootings with black arrows???

    The pellet gun prohibition should not be allowed either. Just becuase there are idiots who misuse bows and pellet guns It doesn't mean that those of us who follow the law and practice safe bow/ pellet gun usage should be penalized for the actions of irresponsible individuals.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by arc2x4 View Post
    Just out of curiosity was anyone injured or any property damaged by an arrow resulting in this ordinance? Any drive by Ninja shootings with black arrows???...
    We wondered also.
    From what we were told, not accidents or incidents have actually taken place.
    Law enforcement would like a “bright line” in place that provides for the easy determination of what is lawful and what is not.
    One idea is to institute a permit process.
    Serious Fun...
    Bob Pian, Judge, Coach, AZJOAD Events
    www.arizonacup.com - www.azarchery.com - www.azjoad.com

  15. #15

    Archery in the City Surprise, Arizona, September 2008

    Archery in the City Surprise, Arizona September, 2008: Archive Record Information.
    http://www.azjoad.com/2008/2008_Surp...il_meeting.htm
    (The reason to post this type of information is to record it for others to reference in the future. Please feel free to share.)
    Serious Fun...
    Bob Pian, Judge, Coach, AZJOAD Events
    www.arizonacup.com - www.azarchery.com - www.azjoad.com

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by therazor302 View Post
    Congrats! If only it was free to shoot in any state (Kansas) It would be nice if they had a permit system like Licenses where you take safety tests. Oh well

    Grats!
    therazor302
    Please fill out your AT profile, About Me information so that others know who you are.
    Do you have the ordinance that prohibits archery in Kansas as you mention or can you get a copy of the ordinance and post or email it to the Arizona State Archery Association at azjoad@cox.net
    Thank you
    Serious Fun...
    Bob Pian, Judge, Coach, AZJOAD Events
    www.arizonacup.com - www.azarchery.com - www.azjoad.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Olathe, Kansas
    Posts
    378
    I have looked into it but I just can't seem to find the ordinance the ones I have found on archery were rules for bow hunting. I've been told my archery coach and just about everyone else I've seen shoot that if a neighbor complains or you are seen then you'll get fined a hefty sum. There is a free range pretty close by about 10-15 minute drive, I was just commenting that it would be nice to shoot in my backyard without worry of reprucusions when I have the sudden urge. Then again I live in in the suburbs so I don't expect it to change. Thanks for trying to help though =P. Sooner or later I'll get around to making a range in my garage as soon I'm 100% sure I won't miss the target.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by therazor302 View Post
    I have looked into it but I just can't seem to find the ordinance the ones I have found on archery were rules for bow hunting. I've been told my archery coach and just about everyone else I've seen shoot that if a neighbor complains or you are seen then you'll get fined a hefty sum. There is a free range pretty close by about 10-15 minute drive, I was just commenting that it would be nice to shoot in my backyard without worry of reprucusions when I have the sudden urge. Then again I live in in the suburbs so I don't expect it to change. Thanks for trying to help though =P. Sooner or later I'll get around to making a range in my garage as soon I'm 100% sure I won't miss the target.
    What we have learned from the City of Surprise experience is that there are very few archery ordinances http://www.azjoad.com/2008/2008_Surp...eting_9-25.pdf. We are also learning that many assume that fire arms/deadly weapon laws specifically apply to archery. The assumption should not be made with regards to target archery. It seems that the reason target archery has not been specifically addressed over the years is because there has been not been a need.

    Proactive: Work to have your target archery community come together on a local level and present themselves in a professional manner to the community leaders, in particular the parks and recreation departments. Offer to help conduct archery outreach in the form of expos and the typical 8 week parks and recreation programs. Once target archery is welcomed, your archery community representative can bring up that the number one place to practice is at home on private property.

    After our visit with the City of Surprise, the recreation department and city council asks us to work with them to host tournaments in the City. From a potential of an archery ban to wanting to host archery tournaments. WOW!

    Why the change I attitude you say. It’s all about education. Once people know who we are and what we do, they quickly see that we are the most critical when it comes to safety and despise anyone gives our sport a bad name by acting irresponsibly. The key is to approach you community with a willingness to contribute to the community. The first step in contributing to the growth of target archery is to become a Beginner/Intermediate Level 1/2 certified archery instructor. http://www.worldarcherycenter.com/

    The words of John F Kennedy’s presidential inaugural address 1961, rings true…” ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country” (or in this case ask what you can to for target archery)
    Serious Fun...
    Bob Pian, Judge, Coach, AZJOAD Events
    www.arizonacup.com - www.azarchery.com - www.azjoad.com

  19. #19
    Congratulations!

    I was thinking about this thread on my way home from the Nevada Senior Games as I drove through Surprise.

    Cya!

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