Don’t Laugh, This is for Real!

Butch Holcombe, publisher of American Digger magazine, sent me an email yesterday to alert me to a problem area,  and I wanted to share it right away….

The city of O’Fallon, Missouri (just west of St. Louis), has decided it wants to prohibit metal detecting, but at the same  time wants a piece of the action.  Yep, don’t laugh.  If you are able to find a spot to detect in O’Fallon, you are obliged to turn over anything you find to the city.

In case you think I am kidding, read all about it…

O’Fallon Metal Detector Hobbyists Restricted

I am a little curious what they mean when they list “archaeological sites”? Are they talking about already designated sites, and if not, who determines what falls  into that category?  Likewise the other “off limits” areas are subject to interpretation, and were obviously drawn up with a “broad brush”.

I am aware that this problem area was forwarded to the Task Force and the FMDAC, and here’s hoping someone jumps on it quickly!  It’s absolutely ridiculous!

In the meantime if you care to share your thoughts with the city, I would suggest you contact the mayor, Bill Hennessy.  His email address is, and if you are writing, send your letter to 100 North Main Street, O’Fallon, MO 63366. You can also try contacting him at 636-240-2000 (the city’s main line).

It’s important to stress that IF you do respond please be courteous, and not confrontational.  Angry emails or letters merely set us back, and do absolutely nothing to help our cause.

If I hear anything more about this situation I will pass it along. You can also check the Task Force website, and the FMDAC website for updates….


Just heard from Carter Pennington/Task Force president. He has made contact with the O’Fallon  mayor, and things are looking more promising.  Go to their website for more information…



Filed under Metal Detecting

13 responses to “Don’t Laugh, This is for Real!

  1. Someone posted on the newspaper article that all the detectorists should bring all the trash they dig up to City Hall. I’m sure the Council I would like a 4 foot pile of pull tabs, bottle caps, cans, gum wrappe sand nails on the steps of City Hall.

  2. I like the idea of all clubs banding together, collecting the trash they dig in city parks, and presenting it to the city council. My biggest concern is: who gets the finds turned in? Is it those within the city council? Also, it goes further…if a citizen walking along a path in the park spots a dollar bill lying on the ground, does the city get that? What if I lost a ring last year, and it is found. Same thing?

    • That’s why this ban is so stupid. It’s one thing to ban our pastime, but to require a detectorist to turn in his or her finds seems illegal, and leaves open a lot of questions, a few of which you just mentioned. I would think a lawyer could shoot holes in this regulation/ordinance from every angle.

  3. Please check out the Task Force website…new information on this siutation, and it’s promising.

  4. Bob

    I love Chicago Ron’s answer, thats the best one yet.

  5. Here’s a poem by Martin Niemöller, referring to the Nazis in WWII that we should keep in mind:

    “First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.”

    How long before your city comes up with crazy rules about metal detecting?

  6. JD

    Goto East Side, spend your time and money there. Best message you could send.

  7. Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to mention..keep upp the fantastic job!

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