Park firearm restrictions - round two!

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Park firearm restrictions - round two!

Post by Thoreau »

Update: Revived this ~4 year old thread after finding that the city of phoenix is back to their ineptitude. New info here.

This is a personal peeve of mine, so apologies to those who couldn't care less about the subject, but...

For those who are unaware, last year the State of Arizona passed legislation that prevents cities, counties, etc. from prohibiting of restricting firearms in parks. This means everything from county parks like the Cave Creek Regional Park (Maricopa), to city parks like the Reach 11 Recreation Area (City of Phoenix) to state parks like Tonto Natural Bridge.

Before the new laws, there were loopholes that applies to parks smaller than one square mile in size, and only then to 'improved' areas (like ramadas, for example.) Using Reach 11 as the example (since I use it frequently due to how close it is to my home (shared property line, woohoo!) let's just say that the above loophole NEVER applied to it as it is over 2.3 square miles in size.

Long of short, the City of Phoenix has so far refused to fix their signs (which were illegal when they were put up YEARS ago, and made even more illegal (is that possible?) last year). I've fired off the following email to the City of Phoenix on the matter and hope that those who don't like their governments to ignore the law might do the same.

Two of the three images that I included in the email are as below. The first is the sign under the SR51 overpass portion of the park taken in October of last year:

The 2nd is the same spot as of yesterday showing an even MORE restrictive sign: ... 1-SR51.jpg

And now for the letter which I sent to,,,,, and
Good Afternoon,

I believe I and the rest of Phoenix have been rather patient on this matter. This is obviously not something that has been taken seriously by the city, however.

First and foremost, the most recent law changes prohibit ALL parks from being able to restrict firearm possession. This ruling has been largely ignored by the city of Phoenix. Secondly, the signs as they previously stood (and most still do) were NOT LEGAL EVEN WHEN THEY WERE ORIGINALLY ERECTED. The 'loophole' that the parks system attempted to exploit was in regards to parks smaller than one square mile, and even then the law only allowed limitations to apply to 'improved' areas. That said, at no point in time has it been legal for firearms to be restricted in the Reach 11 Recreation Area.

That said, I find it odd that as time goes on, not only are proper signs still not being put in place (all it takes is a sticker to cover the existing lines) but the signs are now taking the restrictions to new levels.

The sign located within Reach 11 and underneath the SR-51 overpasses is a blatant violation of the law by the city of Phoenix.

I have attached a few photographs to illustrate.

The first photo is a picture I took of the sign located under the SR51 overpass portion of the park back on 10/04/2010. This sign showed the 'standard' (illegal) restriction of firearms to those who have a valid CCW permit. (Reach11-10042010-SR51.jpg)

The second is a photo I took yesterday of the same sign in the same location (03/06/2011.) This sign has actually TIGHTENED the restrictions to outright ban ALL firearms. (Reach11-03062011-SR51.jpg)

I managed to take photos of the Tatum Blvd. entrance, Horse Park entrance, SR51 area, and Cave Creek entrance and all four of them, save for the SR51 sign, still maintain illegal restrictions and infringement upon the rights of park-goers.

This is not acceptable. Following the law is not an option for the citizens of this City, State, or Country. Following the same laws is not any more optional for a government agency than it is for the citizenry. Obviously your department is well-versed when it comes to applying stickers over portions of the sign to update them as is evidenced by the third attached file, Reach11-03062011-HorsePark.jpg. Additionally, it is blatantly obvious that the area under the SR51 overpass is NOT well policed or safe by any modern standards when you take even a quick look at the graffiti that plagues not only the entire area down there, but the sign itself.

Again, I will reiterate that this is not something which you have only had since last year's legal changes to resolve. AT NO TIME HAVE THESE SIGNS BEEN LEGAL IN THE CASE OF THE REACH 11 RECREATION AREA which is OVER ONE (1) SQUARE MILE IN SIZE AND CONTAINS NO "IMPROVED AREAS." These signs are, and always have been ILLEGAL.

Please let me know what your department and the city intend to do to remedy this situation expeditiously.

Best Regards,
On that note, has anyone else noticed parks which still attempt to restrict firearms in spite of the law? I had been watching the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for this issue for a while as well but haven't been back lately to see if anything has changed.
Last edited by Thoreau on Jan 06 2015 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Park firearm restrictions - round two!

Post by Alston_Neal »

When I was really really little my dad drove us up into Echo Canyon and he shot off his deer rifle so we could hear the echo.... :D
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Re: Park firearm restrictions - round two!

Post by Thoreau »

This may be the quickest I've ever seen government work.

It lacks a real explanation of the cause, or any indication of how to keep it from happening again there or elsewhere, but it's a no-nonsense admission of a problem and a planned solution for the symptoms.

"Mr. ,

I appreciate your concern over the signage at Echo Canyon. You are correct that the verbiage on the sign is incorrect as it was an oversight when the sign was created and installed as part of the trailhead renovations.

Staff is in the process of taking steps to cover over the invalid previous city code and trying to avoid replacing the entire park regulation sign that is in great shape otherwise. I am trying to avoid simply placing tape over the improper verbiage as a solution and hope to have the proper materials by next week to do the job more professionally.

Thank you,

Scott Covey
Park Manager
Natural Resources Division - East Division Parks
City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department"
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Re: Park firearm restrictions - round two!

Post by outdoor_lover »

Wow! They must really like you! Either that, or you showed them your Avatar Photo! :sl:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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Re: Park firearm restrictions - round two!

Post by nimrag »

Alston Neal wrote:This would be us over here on HAZ...
Funny enough, the hippies usually aren't too rabidly anti-gun over there.
So all you hippies here raise your hand and give a wave.... :y:

I'm not old enough to be a hippie, but I am having flashbacks. That's my wave ABO :STP: PHX
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Re: Park firearm restrictions - round two!

Post by Nighthiker »

Bolt cutters are not prohibited, had to use them this past week.
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