BEN AVERY RANGE IS IN TROUBLE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 6, 2003
Permission to circulate granted.
From: Alan Korwin, Author
The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, is on a par with Quantico and Camp Perry. Its 1,650 acres of desert with 35 separate ranges are world class, and it is in danger of being eliminated.
Along with a packed house, I watched as the Phoenix zoning commission offered assurances that by rezoning the Ben Avery range, one of the top ranges in the entire nation, they would protect it from closure caused by future development.
The critical meeting is set for this Wed. night, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m., at City Hall in downtown Phoenix (Washington St. and 3rd Ave.). If you want the range to survive, you have to vote with your feet and be there. The commission and the city council were shocked, maybe even scared, when so many people showed up at the prior meetings. This is good. It helped. This meeting Wed. is the one that counts, when they vote.
You need to go to this meeting to show your support for the range. There will be people there (developers, politicians, appointed officials, nearby residents, more) who hate guns, hate gun owners and hate the range, who are eager to close it down and leave you twisting in the wind. Don't let it happen. Be there.
After the range has a safer zoning designation, we must make sure surrounding land is not used to put the range at future risk. An industrial corridor MIGHT make sense. Certainly, anyone using adjacent land MUST sign a blistering informed consent about the range, and agree to file no complaints about the range, or face severe penalties (on top of the range protection statute enacted recently).
One thing's for sure about some of this talk of moving the range. No one has identified land that is absolutely usable and protectable, there's no suitable backstops I can see short of the Bradshaws (far from power and water), and the costs are in the tens of millions of dollars. The range CANNOT be touched unless and until someone steps up, and another equal or superior facility is built AND operating (NOT merely planned). We will not fall for the classic bureaucratic deception of closing a range, promising to re-build it elsewhere, and then never building it. The "move it" option is only good if it's completed beforehand.
I'm not a developer or real estate expert. We need people who are experts to look at this with an open mind and advise us beyond the rah rah rah of that zoning commission meeting. If Game and Fish Commission members or others have conflicts of interest concerning the range, we need to investigate it further.
Within the penumbra of the constitutional freedom to keep and bear arms lies the clearly implied right of marksmanship practice. Reducing the number and quality of places available to publicly assemble and discharge firearms in pursuit of marksmanship is an infringement on the civil right to arms, and cannot be allowed.
I look forward to seeing you Wednesday night.
Alan Korwin, Author
The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide
"We publish the gun laws."
4718 E. Cactus #440
Phoenix, AZ 85032
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P.S. A big-time developer friend of mine put it this way:
I guess there are lots of rumors & discussions about the range these days. Although I have not studied it carefully, I think shooters have an opportunity to improve their situation, for now and the future.
Development in this area, from I-17 clear past Lake Pleasant will look like the land on the other side of the range (NE Corner, Carefree hwy. and I-17) within a 7 to 10 year period. Just about all of the open space you see is designated for development. There is no pressure to speak of now to move the range, but when it reaches build-out the politics will very likely change. The land under the range (about 1,000 acres) is worth about 75 to 100 million, and in any event there is far more land there than is required (or so it will be said).
If I had a vote (which I don't) I would push for relocating the range either to the other side of the hill (near the federal prison) or a similar place out of the path of development, and grab a big piece of that money to build an incredible new facility. When all the folks carrying signs protesting the shooting and noise show up at the legislature in a few years, it may be too late.
This is probably more than you wanted to know--
And there's much more to it -- Pioneer Village and the federal prison to the north, the huge appraisal of the RV park, the gun haters at Anthem, Phoenix annexing land almost to the county line, Sheriff Joe's desire for an "officials only" range, and more. Rezoning is just the first step.
I will try to make it, but I cannot promise to be there. My wife just got home from the hospital....
I dont know if this will help, but you can bring up the fact that the shooting range is the major reporting point for air traffic coming to Deer Valley airport from the North.
Thanks, Rob. Thanks for the tip. Hope your wife is okay.
Thanks for the heads up on this. Although I received a post card from Dillion's last week.
thank for the info
How'd the meeting go? I saw an article in the Tribune about this. I'm hoping we made a good stand. Thanks!