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Archery Still Okay

Council Meeting


City of Surprise, Arizona




Sept. 25, 2008    Detailed Report in PDF link


City Council Meeting Report Summary

Thanks to the wonderful representation and speaking by the Arizona target archery community, the City of 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 and 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 find 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)


·         Arizona Game and Fish Department Officer

·         Former Boy Scout Leader

·         Large parcel property owner representative.

·         Boy Scout Troop