Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert! Tell Gov. Scott SWFWMD (Swiftmud) Should be Abolished

Friday, February 12, 2016

 

 

DATE: February 12, 2016
TO:  USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President


How would you feel if a bullying state agency decided to take your property and destroy you?

The South West Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD -- commonly called Swiftmud) is an out-of-control rogue state agency engaged in a malicious and contrived 40-year effort to shut down the Skyway Trap and Skeet Range in St. Petersburg.

It is important to know that this issue is not about lead or water pollution. The site has been cleaned up and the lead has been removed.  Further,  NO LEAD shot is used on the range -- Skyway Trap & Skeet Club prohibits the use of lead shot pellets on their range. Only steel shot is used and it is not a considered a pollutant or contaminant.

For 71 years Skyway Trap and Skeet Club has owned this property and has operated this non-profit private range and business on that property.  This range was there years before SWFWMD (Swiftmud) was even created.

In 1975, SWFWMD sued Skyway and under eminent domain "took" the section Skyway's land that was the drop zone for shot pellets.  Even though the Court allowed SWFWMD to take Skyway's property,  the Court obviously recognized what Swiftmud intended to do so the Court granted Skyway a "perpetual right and easement to utilize the property as a drop zone or fallout zone for expanded shotgun ammunition." 

In 2000,  SWFWMD again sued Skyway, this time to permanently prevent any shooting on the Range and to eliminate Skyway's easement rights, claiming Skyway had polluted SWFWMD's property with lead shot pellets.

It is important to know that gun clubs routinely clean up the lead.  Reclaimed lead is sold for a considerable amount of money.  The perpetual easement given to Skyway by the Court allows Skyway to continue to use the property (taken by SWFWMD) as a drop zone to deposit shot pellets on the property. 

Skyway wanted to clean up the lead shot pellets.  However, SWFWMD refused to allow Skyway to have access to the property to clean it up and threatened to charge them with trespass if they entered the property. 

SWFWMD subsequently cleaned up the lead shot and sold it, keeping the money for themselves.

In 2004, after a 4 year legal battle, Governor Jeb Bush took action to stop SWFWMD's malicious conduct.  The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice and SWFWMD was required to sign an agreement to construct a berm to keep shot from falling on the property SWFWMD had "taken" through eminent domain.  The agreement also required Skyway to construct a shot barrier (curtain) “in conjunction with” the berm – but the agreement did not specify any design or location for it and SWFWMD never prescribed any design for it. 

In 2015, in violation of state law, SWFWMD then filed another lawsuit against Skyway seeking to force Skyway to construct a shot barrier.  SWFWMD’s lawsuit also seeks to permanently and completely prevent Skyway's users from any shooting whatsoever alleging that Skyway is refusing to build the shot barrier.

In truth,  SWFWMD has failed  to construct the earthen berm properly. The berm is too short and is already starting to degrade with sinkholes and tunneling from rain water absorption and runoff.  Currently it is overgrown with thistle and brush and is inaccessible by vehicle or by foot. It is unsafe as evidenced by the erosion of the materials used to construct it and the extreme steepness of the design.

Skyway would be foolish to erect a shot barrier on an incompetent, unmaintainable, eroding, unsafe, insufficient "berm" that is steadily degrading day by day.   The problem has been created entirely by SWFWMD.

SWFWMD now owns the land on which the berm sits and SWFWMD owns the berm itself. The lawsuit seeking to compel Skyway to now build a shot barrier on top of this unsafe berm is outrageous and malicious.  One SWFWMD worker has already been killed on the berm and Skyway cannot be expected to commission work under unsafe conditions much less be subjected to liability for knowingly putting lives in danger.

The berm is totally incompetent for any purpose – but even if it were stable, a "shot barrier" would not do the job of keeping shot contained, thus giving SWFWMD an excuse to harass Skyway further. 

It is time to ABOLISH SWFWMD.  This agency is attempting to create it's own little microcosm by taking property from it's neighbors and bullying those who stand in it's way.

Please IMMEDIATELY send an email to Governor Rick Scott and tell him, Abolish SWFWMD now, or stop them from ever again harming the Skyway Trap & Skeet Club.

In the subject line put:  PLEASE ABOLISH SWFWMD

(Block and Copy his email addresses into the "Send To" box)

rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

PLEASE DO IT TODAY.  Tell Governor what you think about this conduct

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida shooting range
TRENDING NOW
Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate ...

Obama Lies about Guns… Again

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Obama Lies about Guns… Again

Despite no longer living in the White House, former President Barack Obama continues to be a headache to law-abiding Americans. On May 30, Obama spoke at a digital innovation event in Brazil. During the onstage ...

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

On June 4-5, the annual Yale Mayors College & CEO Summit was held in New York City. The theme of this year’s CEO Summit was “Trumpeting the Issues without Becoming the Issue: Selective Use of CEO Voice.” ...

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

Amy Dickinson is an advice columnist who, according to the company that syndicates her work, “combines storytelling with advice that is rooted with honesty and trust.” “Ask Amy” appears in newspapers that include The Baltimore Sun, ...

Bloomberg Course: Ineffective Policies and Non-Existent Technology

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Bloomberg Course: Ineffective Policies and Non-Existent Technology

This week in the online course “Reducing Gun Violence in America: Evidence for Change” is a real rollercoaster. Week Five is titled “Regulating Gun Design, Enforcing Gun Laws, and Reducing Police-Involved Shootings” covers so-called assault ...

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

After signing six gun control measures into law a year ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that “Our work is far from done.” Several new bills are now making the rounds in a state already notorious ...

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

Tennessee: Governor Bill Lee Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tennessee: Governor Bill Lee Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Last week, Governor Bill Lee signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 1264 /Senate Bill 705, into law.

New Hampshire: House Concurs On Anti-Gun Bills

Friday, June 14, 2019

New Hampshire: House Concurs On Anti-Gun Bills

On June 13th, the New Hampshire state House of Representatives voted to concur on two anti-gun bills that they had received back from the Senate.  House Bills 109 and 514 will now go to Governor ...

Does a Suppressed Pistol Sound like a Nail Gun?

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Does a Suppressed Pistol Sound like a Nail Gun?

In response to reports that the Virginia Beach shooter used a firearm suppressor in carrying out his terrible crime, David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor for the Giffords gun control group, claimed that a suppressed pistol ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.