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Thread: Surprise Az to pass an ordinance against archery

  1. #1
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    Surprise Az to pass an ordinance against archery

    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
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    Message sent. Definately something that needs to be forwarded to archers around the world! Once they get something like that passed.....it will just domino effect into our areas!

    Good Luck John and let us know what happens!

    VA

  3. #3
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    Well written John !!!! any suggestions other than writing in I can do let me know.
    johns Customs strings,GoldTip,Xtreme Stabilization,Dave Stepp Archery, available to support archery

  4. #4
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    Very well written. My hats off to you for taking a stand.
    Proud to be a Bowhunter.

  5. #5
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    Sadly this is the cycle of politics/ ban air rifles because of broken windows lump archery in just for good measure----windows still get broken with rocks-----Mayor gets fired--- Don't dance with them. Take each one on in public and push for a recall. If the recall petition was started you might be suprised.
    If they are doing this to us they are doing many things to make a lot of people unhappy re- special intrests of others, a recall start can to snow ball fast sometimes.

    Local media love recall politics !!!!!

  6. #6
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    I posted this on several websites, and sent it to our state archery associations. They have all shown support, and have been sending the mayor and counselmembers emails. I have received an email from my representative in the district. He thanked me for my letter, and stated that he liked the wording. He stated that he was going to pull the second reading this week, and place it on hold so that residents could offer an oppinion. However, the flood of emails that I expect is happening, shall offer a great oppinion of behalf of archers. Thanks for the support, and please keep the emails coming.
    If you blame others for your failures, give them credit when you succeed!

  7. #7
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    Message sent to the mayor

  8. #8
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    we up here are not allowed to shoot in the city there is an ordiance about it cause some guy decided to shoot his neighbors dog so now we cant shoot in MI
    2014 ELITE ENERGY 35 29" 70#
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  9. #9
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    I am 57 years of age,just celebrated 30 years of marriage,have 2 older children in university,and consider myself an upright member of my community.I have shot a compound bow for 5 years and I consider myself a slightly above average shooter.In the five years I have been shooting I have seen many archery accidents.Thankfully none have caused any injuries.However every single one of those accidents(ex. release misfire,release failure,target panic induced misses etc.)could have been tragic if they occurred in someones back yard.
    Knowing what I do about archery I would hate to be sitting in my back yard listening to arrows slamming into my neighbors butt.Not what I would call relaxing at all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavy dart View Post
    I am 57 years of age,just celebrated 30 years of marriage,have 2 older children in university,and consider myself an upright member of my community.I have shot a compound bow for 5 years and I consider myself a slightly above average shooter.In the five years I have been shooting I have seen many archery accidents.Thankfully none have caused any injuries.However every single one of those accidents(ex. release misfire,release failure,target panic induced misses etc.)could have been tragic if they occurred in someones back yard.
    Knowing what I do about archery I would hate to be sitting in my back yard listening to arrows slamming into my neighbors butt.Not what I would call relaxing at all.
    As much as I would like to disagree, I cannot. A flung arrow can kill bears and deer, it certainly can kill a human. I use to shoot at a target in my side yard with a fence behind the target. One day, I simply forgot to reset my sight and the accident happened. No harm done but that was the end of side yard range, so I built a different one that is completely enclosed along the back of my house where the arrow cannot escape. If a neighbor knew of my range, which they don't as they can't see it, and complained, I would comply.

    A few years the wife and were driving through a neighborhood where I saw a guy shooting into his garage. He stood at the street edge so the distance to the garage opening was about 15 yards or so. I remarked to my wife that that was the safe way to shoot............... until I saw him draw. He skied the bow when drawing. One release failure and that arrow would launch over his house to parts unknown.

    Several years ago a young man in Australia got at new sight for his box and retreated to his back yard to try it out. He killed the next door neighbor.

    If I lived in an area with no archery range, I would try to form a club, lease some land and buy or build targets. I belong to a club, where we lease the land from the county. We have only about 40-50 members, if I recall, and membership is only $30 per year. We have several 3d shoots to raise additional funds. Sometimes we beg for donations if equipment is needed. It works......................... ..ck
    Last edited by clayking; September 21st, 2008 at 02:37 PM.

    Never argue with an idiot, he'll just drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.


    I've never seen a problem that politicians could not make worse

  11. #11
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    Accidents happen all the time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    not an accident

    Heavy Dart, that picture has been around for years and there are several more that go with it. That was not an accident but more like a redneck game of JackA$%. Has there been any reports of accidental injuries to people or pets or destruction of property linked to archery in Surprise? My guess is that any incident of archery accidents or destruction is minimal and far less than what is caused by rocks. By far the most common individual hurt in an archery accident is the archer, himself.
    "Everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

  13. #13
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    PB06.I am well aware of how long the pics have been around and the ACCIDENTAL nature of the incident.That's just my point,or one of them.Sorry,I don't trust even the most well meaning archer not to have a judgement,equipment,or some other unforeseen failure at some time.Especially if it's in my back yard!It really does not matter if there are zero reports of archery accidents at this time.The idea is prevention.There is no need or defence for having a shooting range in someones backyard in an urban type setting.There are other ways of dealing with the lack of an archery facility that are much more productive.

  14. #14
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    Archery is a recreational sport. It should be enjoyed in a safe manner. The suggestions I made included having the target placed in an area where it is not in direct line with the neighbor's residence. If accidents were the norm, they would not be called accidents. I have shot for 25 years and have not had an "accident". Careful planning should eliminate many of the reasons accident's occur. Rather than have the counsel sign into law an ordinance that is a blanket banning on archery in the city, to include at schools and the privacy of back yards, I am asking for reasonable limitations. Thanks for your replies.
    If you blame others for your failures, give them credit when you succeed!

  15. #15
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    John,

    I didn't know that Surprise is trying to pass this law. I am also a resident of Surprise since last year when I was stationed here at Luke from Alaska (which in Alaska I could shoot rifles at my house) but anyway let me know some more info and I can get my fellow archers I work with to put a stop to this. Fellow ATers Surprise also consists of some desert land that I would take my 4x4 block out in the desert to shoot, I believe with this new law I couldn't even do that, missed arrow out there might stick an illegal if anything. Somebody needs to open an archery store in Surprise soon!!!!

    Mike (They voted officials in Surprise might not listen to me much, I'm still a Alaskan resident, but if my gov gets voted in.......)
    Z7, Z7Etreme, M7, & Creed RH 28.5" 65/65/70/70lbs

  16. #16
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    For those of you who believe a backyard range in a urban area is exceptable,what are the legal ramifications if you shoot a neighbor by accident?Does your home owner insurance policy cover that sort of liability?If so how much?Do you carry a rider for that very purpose?Or are you wide open to catastrophic litigation?

  17. #17

    That is crap

    Ok, First off thank GOD I live in small town Iowa. I have and will continue to shoot in my backyard as well as friend's. I as well as other's realize accident's happen. But for the love of God don't take away a archer's right's because of a accident, or one person's wrong doing. For God's sake this is America Land of the free correct? Let's keep are right's.

    Thank God, and God bless all of you.
    Rich

  18. #18
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    Laws/Ordinances like this are actually meant to protect you and your family. It isn't directed at most of you who know how to shoot and do so in a safe and reasonable manner. We all know the reason is because of the few idiots or simply inexperienced archers.

    Consider this: I was shooting at my range at my rural home. My release malfunctioned at 3/4 draw(jaw pin slipped out) and it sent my arrow downrange. Luckily I have a large backstop and never sky my bow.

    Consider this: Down the road from me there is a small rural subdivision(10 houses on 5 wooded acre tracts. My buddy found a broadhead tipped arrow sticking in his front yard. We found that the new family that moved in across the street and over a couple of houses has an 18yr old son that was skying his bow upon draw and accidentally hit the trigger. This arrow went over 150yrds. Imagine this in a populated area, or if he was mowing his lawn. It's 1 in a million, but it only takes once.

    Consider this: Have you ever seen the ceiling at your local range and all the scuffs from people skying bows and letting them fly. These arrows would go over tallest privacy fence you could make.

    No one ever plans an accident, but all accidents are avoidable. Let's not be our own worse enemies.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavy dart View Post
    I am 57 years of age,just celebrated 30 years of marriage,have 2 older children in university,and consider myself an upright member of my community.I have shot a compound bow for 5 years and I consider myself a slightly above average shooter.In the five years I have been shooting I have seen many archery accidents.Thankfully none have caused any injuries.However every single one of those accidents(ex. release misfire,release failure,target panic induced misses etc.)could have been tragic if they occurred in someones back yard.
    Knowing what I do about archery I would hate to be sitting in my back yard listening to arrows slamming into my neighbors butt.Not what I would call relaxing at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by flintcreek6412 View Post
    Laws/Ordinances like this are actually meant to protect you and your family. It isn't directed at most of you who know how to shoot and do so in a safe and reasonable manner. We all know the reason is because of the few idiots or simply inexperienced archers.

    Consider this: I was shooting at my range at my rural home. My release malfunctioned at 3/4 draw(jaw pin slipped out) and it sent my arrow downrange. Luckily I have a large backstop and never sky my bow.

    Consider this: Down the road from me there is a small rural subdivision(10 houses on 5 wooded acre tracts. My buddy found a broadhead tipped arrow sticking in his front yard. We found that the new family that moved in across the street and over a couple of houses has an 18yr old son that was skying his bow upon draw and accidentally hit the trigger. This arrow went over 150yrds. Imagine this in a populated area, or if he was mowing his lawn. It's 1 in a million, but it only takes once.

    Consider this: Have you ever seen the ceiling at your local range and all the scuffs from people skying bows and letting them fly. These arrows would go over tallest privacy fence you could make.

    No one ever plans an accident, but all accidents are avoidable. Let's not be our own worse enemies.
    What they said.... accidents happen, and I wouldn't want them to happen to me or my neighbors. Believe me, i would love the ability to walk out my back door and shoot, but unless I was on ~10 acres or more, I just don't know if it is smart.

    Think about it this way, would you want your neighbor to set up what he deemed to be a "safe" pistol range in his back yard??

  20. #20
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    ugh

    It still befuddles me when people are so eager to give up their rights in the name of "public safety" or "national security" or whatever else. This should bother everyone, not just archers. Just as we start winning the war on Gun "Control" (thank you, Supreme Court) now we have to worry about Bow Control?

    As for that stupid picture...Heavy Dart, if you have first hand knowledge of the story behind that incident than please share for all of our benefit. The only stories I've heard or read that go with it definately do NOT say it was an accident.
    "Everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by polarbear06 View Post
    It still befuddles me when people are so eager to give up their rights in the name of "public safety" or "national security" or whatever else. This should bother everyone, not just archers. Just as we start winning the war on Gun "Control" (thank you, Supreme Court) now we have to worry about Bow Control?
    Big +1 on that ...

    I'm getting pretty sick of the attitude that has been adopted where one guy screws up so ALL have to pay for his stupidity. I have a backyard range and I'm damn safe about shooting. I built an 8' tall by 16' wide backstop out of 3/4" plywood just in case of an accidental discharge.

    Thank god I live in a place where individuals still have rights and the freedom to excercise those rights ...
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  22. #22
    Why not just ban realeases and skying the bow? It makes as much sense to me. What ever happened to personal freedom and landowner rights? It is the same reason I won't live in a neigborhood with a Homeowner's Association too many busybodies and petty tyrants trying enforce their will on you.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by polarbear06 View Post
    It still befuddles me when people are so eager to give up their rights in the name of "public safety" or "national security" or whatever else. This should bother everyone, not just archers. Just as we start winning the war on Gun "Control" (thank you, Supreme Court) now we have to worry about Bow Control?
    Well, wait a minute. We aren't talking about the right to purchase and own here. Or even the right to carry (good luck on the concealed carry with a bow though ) I am no fan of the crazy gun control laws that some states have either. We are talking about safety. Those are apples to oranges lets not go off on tangents. If you want to compare oranges to oranges, look at my earlier statement. I'm sure there aren't many backyard archers that would be happy to see their neighbor put up his 'safe' pistol range in the backyard of his 1/4 acre lot. If you live on real land and not small community lots, that's a whole different story though. I don't think anyone would argue with your right to shoot in your yard if you were on acreage.

  24. #24
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    pistol range

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Shot View Post
    Well, wait a minute. We aren't talking about the right to purchase and own here. Or even the right to carry (good luck on the concealed carry with a bow though ) I am no fan of the crazy gun control laws that some states have either. We are talking about safety. Those are apples to oranges lets not go off on tangents. If you want to compare oranges to oranges, look at my earlier statement. I'm sure there aren't many backyard archers that would be happy to see their neighbor put up his 'safe' pistol range in the backyard of his 1/4 acre lot. If you live on real land and not small community lots, that's a whole different story though. I don't think anyone would argue with your right to shoot in your yard if you were on acreage.

    Oranges to oranges, eh? Arrow = quiet, short range, will not pass through 3/4" plywood or even 1/4" plywood and retain enough energy to cause damage; Pistol = loud, short to medium range, will easily pass through plywood and still retain enough energy to cause damage to whatever or whomever may be on the other side. All that being said...should my neighbor wish to put up a pistol range in his yard, provided he was not shooting in the direction of my house or anyone elses and he put up a flag or something to tell me when his range was hot, my only issue would be, "Can I come over and shoot, too?" But then, I guess I'm just crazy.
    "Everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

  25. #25
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    i totally agree with polarbear06. if my nieghbor want to set up a range in his back yard, but is safe about it, i might just join him. i think it is awful that some people think that they can tell me what i can do on my own land. if want to build a shed they would have no problem with it, hey that gives me an idea, if the order does pass, just build a really long shed in you back yard and shoot in it, it contand and no one will ever be able to see you. but i think that yes accidents do happen and i would be the first one mad if it happend to my kid, but then again a kid can be just as hurt or killed by falling out of a tree or falling on a sharp stick, what are they gonna do, ban all trees from your area. people get in accidents in car all the time and they arnt gonna ban driving cars, and you are more likly to die on a motorcycle if there is an accident yet they still alow people to ride them, just as the tree and achery, you can be killed by both, yes there is a greater percentage that you can be killed by a arrow then by falling out of the tree, but that the risk you take. if you dont want to shot in your backyard that fine but dont tell em or my family what we can do in ours.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, body thoroughly used up and worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a Ride!
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