View Full Version : Article on Santa Cruz County shoot zones

01-26-2009, 11:55 AM
Caught this in the local paper recently:

County's no-shoot laws might need some dusting off
Kurtis Alexander - Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted: 01/21/2009 08:08:05 AM PST

Click photo to enlarge
Jeff Helmer, caretaker of the Byrne demonstration forest, worries that... (Dan Coyro/Sentinel file)

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CORRALITOS -- Jeff Helmer has spent more than two decades as caretaker of a rural property off Browns Valley Road.

It's a part of the county known for its twisting roads, clear creeks, apple orchards, redwood forests and increasingly, the longtime resident says, gunfire.

"The only real problem with living out here now is the gun noise," said Helmer, whose home sits on a preserve owned by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

"My concern is that people are coming here innocently and a stray bullet, god forbid, could hit somebody," he said. "And the noise ... you're here hiking, listening to the birds and a gunshot goes off. It runs against the idea of what this place stands for."

But there's no use complaining, Helmer says. The area north of Corralitos, out Browns Valley and up Eureka Canyon, is one of the few that fall outside the county's no-shoot laws.

That is, unless changes are made.

County Supervisor Ellen Pirie, who represents Corralitos, says she and the Sheriff's Office have received a handful of complaints about gunfire in the area and are looking at the possibility of limiting gun use there.

The question of how much gun use is appropriate is one that has surfaced over the years as more people have sought refuge in the county's remote corners with different plans in mind, some quieter than others. At the same time, the lines between urban and rural living have increasingly blurred.

or 40 years ago you could go out to open lands and shoot, up on the North Coast or Bonny Doon or Watsonville," said Sgt. Fred Plageman with the Sheriff's Office. "Those days are over because the population has increased. There's just no more open land."

Shooting a firearm, with certain exceptions, is prohibited in most of Santa Cruz County. Restrictions in the four cities, bans in state parks and "no-shoot" zones in unincorporated areas, when added together, cover most of the county. Laws outlawing guns from being shot within 150 yards of a home disqualify much of what remains.

The Sheriff's Office says it cites only about a half-dozen people each year for shooting in an area where it is prohibited.

Pirie says extending a no-shoot zone to cover Corralitos is a possibility, but she's looking at other options first, like limiting hours for shooting or banning rapid fire.

"Establishing a no-shoot zone is an onerous process and it might be overkill," she said.

In recent weeks, residents living off Browns Valley and Eureka Canyon roads have reported loud gunfire, often three or four times a week for several hours in the afternoon. They say the noise is difficult to trace because of rugged terrain and echoes that come from the canyons. Neighbors speculate it might be a gun owner with a daily routine of target practice or even an unofficial shooting range.

"I don't know what it is, but it shouldn't be happening," said Maricela Fletes, who administers De un Amor, a Corralitos home for the elderly whose Web site advertises a "calm, restful" setting.

Fortunately, Fletes says, most of the people living at the home don't complain about the gunfire because they're "hard of hearing." But for others, she says, it's disturbing.
Contact Kurtis Alexander at 706-3267 or kalexander@santacruzsentinel.com.

LINK (http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_11511781?IADID=Search-www.santacruzsentinel.com-www.santacruzsentinel.com)

I can remember when I used to be able to shoot at several locations near me; they've all since been closed off.
It sounds like some people are calling for the county to re designate some area's as no shoot zones.

01-26-2009, 1:07 PM
Fortunately, Fletes says, most of the people living at the home don't complain about the gunfire because they're "hard of hearing."


Please keep an eye on this! A strong local response and or calling on Calguns members to help stop any change in the discharge ordinance may be needed.

Bug Splat
01-26-2009, 2:52 PM
I guess they are forgetting the fact that the Sheriff's department has a range they used right up there:rolleyes: . Leave those people be. There is nothing to do up in the higher parts Corralitos but shoot. No internet, no Cable, and many places can't even get satellite due to the high trees and hills.

01-26-2009, 7:56 PM
Double dupe.

I am sure that the S.O. would have said it was their range by now if it was them.
Friends of mine live on Corralitos Rd, by the elementary school., and they hear it.
Apparently, it's pretty loud, large capacity mags, day or night.
Either the shooters don't read the local papers, don't know how to read or are ignorant and stupid and just they don't care.
They are going to blow it for everyone around here, if they don't try to reduce the sound.
Maybe it's some just some dumb yokels or maybe it's meth freaks partying.
It's not like peace love hippie's just moved in the area and are shocked. This area has been populated for years.
A little courtesy is all that is needed.
If these guys don't try to be good neighbors, who knows what kind of ban will be created.

01-26-2009, 8:04 PM
Super dupe, but id they try to stop us from shooting, i'll find another way to make noise! :euro:

01-26-2009, 8:32 PM
Super dupe, but id they try to stop us from shooting, i'll find another way to make noise! :euro:

Putting your head in a metal bucket and letting a friend hit it with a baseball bat would give you fulfilling noise quickly.

01-26-2009, 9:09 PM
Sounds like we need to decriminalize silencers in this state... wouldn't want to disturb the tree huggers...