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August 25, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Town Ordinance Blocks Paralympian’s Arrow

From the Visalia Times-Delta:

Jeff Fabry is on a quest to Beijing for a Paralympic gold medal in archery.
But on Monday, he encountered an unexpected hurdle in his way — a Tulare city parks ordinance that police believe may forbid him from practicing at home . . . .

Fabry, who lost his right arm and leg in a motorcycle accident in 1988, picked up archery 10 years ago. For the past eight years he has practiced in the driveway of his central Tulare home, sometimes venturing across the street to increase distance.

So when a Tulare police officer told him Monday morning he couldn't practice in his driveway or from across the street directly into his driveway, he and his family were surprised. . . .

[The ordinance] states: "No person other than peace officers in the discharge of their duties shall use, maintain, possess, fire, or discharge any firearm, airgun, bow and arrow, sling shot or any other weapon potentially dangerous to wildlife or human safety except in areas, at times and under conditions designated by the Director for such use."

What do you think? Should Fabry be allowed to practice in his driveway or across the street?



I don't think he should be shooting across the street, but on his own property (and if he's using a proper target) I don't see a problem with it.

I still shoot in my backyard, but I'm sure @ some point the city will implement a similar law. These laws seem to be popping up everywhere anymore.



The part most disturbing to me is the "...maintain, possess..." section. That would seem to indicate that the town decided that no one is even allowed to own any of those weapons. I know many towns and cities have laws that forbid various types of weapons, but this one seems to cover practically everything but waterballoons.


A reasonable reading of the entire ordinance suggests that this rule applies only to the city parks in Tulare. It does not seem to be a wholesale ban on owning, maintaining, possessing or firing a weapon throughout the city.

Further, the Police Captain admitted to not knowing whether the law applied in this instance. (So naturally, the government says: "You can't do that - we think - maybe. Um - so don't do it unless we say so - or until we found out.") Good grief.

However, shooting across the street? Hmmm...not the best of practices.


he should be able to shoot in his prperty.

Brian T

He's a hazard to himself, shooting across the street. Let's pass the hat and buy him a javelin.


I had no idea where the heck Tulare is, but when I looked it up I discovered that it is a city in the Republik of Kalifornia. That explains everything.


I think some of you miss the point, whether the event is occuring in California or not.

I think ANY town in AMERICA, whether the shooter is disabled or not, won't allow you to shoot your bow across a street. As the above states:

"For the past eight years he has practiced in the driveway of his central Tulare home, sometimes venturing ACROSS the street to increase distance."

Common sense would dictate this is an UNSAFE practice.

He should be able to shoot on his property, but ACROSS the street as to increase his distance is just plain stupid.


Agreed, shooting across a road is unsafe. Any number of freak occurrances could happen the worst of which being children spontaneously appearing and running across the arrow's flight path.


Good discussion for the most part, and I agree that the biggest issue is (or should be) shooting across the street.

Many towns, not just in CA, restrict the discharge of any weapon within city limits. As much as I chafe at the the restriction, it makes sense in these fairly densely populated areas. At least in Tulare, there's enough open land just outside of town where folks can go practice archery and such.

I think part of the what's happening here is hanging on the emotional part of the story that this guy is handicapped. If he weren't, there would never have been a story. Sorry to sound harsh, but I know I was warned by local law enforcement right here in my own backyard for the same thing... practicing with my bow is a violation of city statute, yet no newspaper came to my rescue... and it happens every day to other archers and bowhunters.

If this guy really is a prospect for the paralympics, then some concerned party should step up and provide him a safe place to practice his shooting. It wouldn't cost them much, even if they included transportation to and from. The trade-off would be great publicity for the benefactor, and a better opportunity for this guy to practice his shooting at a real range and at real distances.


I like how they call the cops "peace officers" ha what a joke. If he was practicing for the paraolympics dont you think he would have somewhere better to train than the street?


How funny though in 8 years there has never been an accident of him hitting something other than his target! Also, you need to remember that he is practicing at home because he is a stay at home dad as well as a Pro Archer!

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