Apr 30, 2013, 12:56 PM
Metal Detecting Permits?
Hi everyone...I looked at the postings I could find on web sites on permits and I also searched City of Ottawa's web site for permits, metal detecting, prospecting, archeology and metal detector and came up with only info on the car metal detectors at street lights.
I have a new idea on this problem. I see that these days, if the city does not have regulations for an activity, then we are all blocked because the clerk behind the desk is afraid of approving activities on city properties that they don't have a black and white "standard operating procedure" to follow. I've worked for the Federal Government since 1986 and have seen the whole spectrum of public servants who can't think for themselves, let alone go out of their way to change things that are missing or have shortcomings.
I propose that we present a standard form to our cities, that they can use as a permit, which allows us to do metal detecting on public and city property, with a specific purpose to find, coins, artifacts and metals, while cleaning up garbage and finding the historic past of the city. The form would state that the detectorist can only detect metal down to 8 inches, using detector, probe and 8-10"digging/plug tool, using a tarp to collect the soil, so as to leave very little evidence that the grass was disturbed. The detectorist will collect and dispose of garbage found, create a record of items found, and where, for the day, to the city as a record. Coins and jewelry found, will be the property of the detectorist, and artifacts will be brought to the curator of the local military, anthropological or archeological museums. The curators will tell the detectorists, what artifacts they can keep and a report will be created for submission to the city.
I think this kind of arrangement will allow us to provide a public service, give us a local reputation as responsible detectorists, and provide us with possible contacts with the authorities, in case we are needed by local emergency or law enforcement to find metals in investigations.
I will put together a template for this and upload it to the site if you think this has potential. Unfortunately we no longer have a club here for a forum to promote this but I'm looking into finding the founders of the Capital Metal Detectors Club.
What do you all think?
Apr 30, 2013, 01:09 PM
I deal in reality
I think, use your head, don't be like those clerks! If there is no law against it, it is legal. Problem solved. Frank...
Originally Posted by ScharfRJ
Apr 30, 2013, 01:18 PM
Hi Rob -- You may not want to kick that hornet's nest and invite government meddling and restrictions where none exist now.
I have to operate under an absurd NYC permit, which is already a challenge. Your proposal sounds even more restrictive (why offer up one's hard work and finds to such agencies?). I'm with Frank -- leave well enough alone.
Apr 30, 2013, 01:18 PM
Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.
Best to forget the permit system for your cities. As soon as the idiots learn there is something they can outlaw or put restrictions on they will outlaw metal detecting as harmful or damaging to grounds, plants, historical sites, etc. Do you have to ask if it is OK to toss a ball to your kid in a park? How about a Frisbee? Sit on the grass? Just learn to use a screw driver to pop coins out instead of digging in park grass and you are not damaging anything. Tip, in my parks, you can be shot in the head if seen with a Lesche digger.
(C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
"TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."
Apr 30, 2013, 01:36 PM
I'm just trying to provide a solution for cities where we are restricted due to the multi-jurisdictions...in Ottawa, Canada, being Canada's Capital, we have to deal with Federal, Provincial and Municipal properties and regulations...I've already found regulations that are purposefully vague pertaining to archeological value of finds. I didn't realize that members of this hobby would have an attitude that an informed permit process, proposed by those in the hobby, would actually be a detriment to the hobby.
Thanks for all your feedback.
Apr 30, 2013, 01:38 PM
I use a screwdriver and a brass probe for probably 99% of the coins that I recover in the parks. Plugs can kill the grass, get dug back up by a raccoon or dog, pulled up by a lawnmower, or simply kicked out by someone walking. They are far too noticeable and easy to make a mess. Using a probe and driver doesn't seem to get that much attention, and can help you avoid those annoying "no digging" rules.
Originally Posted by Sandman
And yes, I've pulled dimes out using this method at 6" deep, as long as the ground isn't full of gravel or rocks!
Just my opinion, I just wouldn't mention detecting to the office people. Unless it is outlawed, "out of sight-out of mind" works best with these people. Just remember, "the squeaky wheel gets oiled", start making noise about detecting and they are going to ban it just to shut you up.
Apr 30, 2013, 01:42 PM
Thanks, Jeremy, I'll definitely read up on the screw driver technique and practise with a practise garden at home with my detector...one of my books talks about setting up a practise garden to check my detector's limits on sizes and types of metals.
Apr 30, 2013, 04:37 PM
I'm with the rest of the guys. Leave it alone. No one in govenment is out to help anyone but themselves.
Apr 30, 2013, 05:27 PM
Hey sandman - sounds as bad as where I am!
Originally Posted by Sandman
I know a guy that got arrested for CCW for carrying a Lesche digging trowel! It was strapped to his side and because the blade is knife-like, longer than 6in, serrated, and because it was in a sheath strapped to his side - they arrested and charged him for CCW even though he was detecting and TOLD them that's all it was for!
I don't use one myself - don't need the hassle of jail, fines, etc. or worse (as you say) - they may shoot 1st and ask ?? later!
The case was reduced to some BS misdemeanor charge but still - they charge you with a felony 1st and throw you in the can, take your stuff, and cause you nothing but $$ and headaches at the least PLUS you end up with a misdemeanor no matter what so it's just not worth it!
Note to all those using them - better make sure it's in PLAIN sight of law enforcement and NOT hidden in any way (including being in a sheath) or you may be the next one charged with CCW and sitting in a room without a view for a while!
May 01, 2013, 12:20 AM
Rock me, my Deus
If I remember correctly you and sandman are from MI as well, so now I'm a little hesitant about my Lesche in public. I created a thread last month wondering if the Lesche might be viewed as a weapon, but those who responded felt it was not an issue. I was detecting my local courthouse lawn a few days ago, which is next to the police station, and a few cruisers slowed down near me, but simply gave a nod and went on their way. Hopefully I don't get shot!
Originally Posted by lonewolfe
“People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
May 01, 2013, 11:13 AM
Rob, the others are right. Your basic premise is wrong on three counts:
a) If an activity has no permit available for it (as you found out), and does not "have regulations" for this activity, then you assume that you can't do it? Eg.: that someone has to tell you "it's ok to do that" ? On the contrary, if rules/laws are silent on an issue (not addressed either way), then presto, it's not prohibited. Since when does an activity need to be "expressly allowed" or "permitted", in order to be able to do it? Sandman's frisbee example fits.
b) Other clauses you worry about (archaeological or cultural heritage verbage) need not necessarily be applied. I mean, sure, if you parade enough indian bones in front of over-active archies, then sure, someone will tell you "no". And sure, if you're tromping around enough sensitive historic monuments (that we all agree should remain sacred), then sure, those would apply. But no, they're not applied at run-of-the-mill parks, beaches, etc... Afterall, you're only finding "modern" change, or the boyscout ring you just lost afterall, RIGHT? I guess what I'm trying to say is, that sure: there's a whole HOST of things that if you tried hard enough, could find someone to morph to metal detecting. Why stop at "archaeological"? There's also the collecting and harvesting, lost & found laws, tax laws, bothering earthworms, etc... But no, unless you were being a major nuisance, or someone sneaking obvious historic monuments, or someone who couldn't take a warning, then no, those ancillary clauses predate detectors, and aren't usually applied to run-of-the-mill parks and beaches.
c) to think you can suggest a "permit" system that fixes the potential that you might get barked at now and then, is actually only going to make it worse. Look at ANY place that has "permits", and you'll see they're restrictive-in-nature, not "permitting-in-nature". If anything, the mere fact that someone comes before them suggesting "please permit this activity", will probably only cause them to enact rules to forbid the activity, rather than to leave it silent on the subject. So trust me: It's much better to have no mention of detecting (silent on the matter), rather than have rules and regulations about your hobby.
Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!
May 01, 2013, 02:55 PM
Very well stated, Tom
I guess if CCW can apply to a Lesche digger, a sheath made of heavy clear Vinyl could be easily fashioned.
May 03, 2013, 03:38 AM
Add my name to the anti permit side. As you well know, Ron, the government can screw up ANY program ( I.E. gun registration program in your country) Heck, the U.S. government couldn't even make money running a popular whorehouse in the state of Nevada! (true story!) Bureaucracy just breeds more of the same as they want to feather their nest and gain greater power. If you let them have the power to give you permission, they can also take it away for any personal or political reasons. As for the digger being classified as a weapon.....just about anything can be a weapon if it's used as one. My detector is going to become an ax if someone threatens me! If your state issues CCW permits, get one if you can as that should take care of that problem.
May 03, 2013, 04:25 AM
For all of you who live in those blue states that require a permit for everything from a lemonade stand to buying a two liter of soda. I would suggest you move to a red state where you are still free. But you would probably vote and just muck it up for the rest of us. So just keep thinking of us as hicks and yokels. And telling yourselves that you could never live out in the rural areas where we have no "culture".
May 03, 2013, 09:26 AM
I would like to think it is a red vs blue state issue, but it isn't. I live in rural MT and local city ordinances require a permit for city parks. Same rules apply ( no digging tools, shovels, trowels etc only probe and a screwdriver)
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