Several historic reenactments have been canceled in New York – because participants worry that their muses may run behind a new state gun law.
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The law, which took effect on September 1, prohibits the carrying of weapons in “sensitive places” such as public parks, museums and playgrounds, with history buffs worried that their black-powder muskets could get them arrested, Observer-Dispatch reported,
“It’s all a civil complaint and the whole thing will become a mess,” said Terry Parker, who in late September decided to scrap a Civil War reparations program in Allegheny County in the wake of new legislation.
“We really didn’t want to be a test case and arrest our friends,” Parker, who started the event 18 years ago and headed the organizing committee, told the outlet.
In addition, the Living History Weekend, scheduled for last week in central New York, which also included a Civil War reenactment, was found by the local sheriff’s office that the incident could violate the new law, the outlet reported.
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“Our lawyers advised us that there is no exemption in the law for Civil War reparations,” Herkimer County Sheriff Scott Sherer told the outlet.
“It would be illegal, according to the Governor’s letter of law.”
But Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said in a statement to The Post on Friday, “These laws allow for historic re-enactments, and otherwise there should be no concern.
“We will work with legislators and local law enforcement to ensure that these incidents can go on for centuries. In the meantime, individuals who have legally participated in reparations should continue to do so.”
But Rochester attorney Sheldon Boyce Jr., who specializes in Second Amendment law, said the language of the law has no carvings for historical events.
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,[Hochul’s] Saying that they are going to pass new law to exempt the Acts,” the lawyer told the outlet. “But so far, I haven’t seen an actual bill that has been signed by the governor.”
Last weekend, the reenactment of the Battle of Plattsburgh was nearly canceled after organizers were warned by the state that the event could violate new law, the Press-Republican reported.
The organizers pushed the event ahead after local police said they would not officially arrest anyone linked to it. But the state told them that they could only fire cannons – not muskets, According to Press-Republican,
Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest said, “Whenever the government makes sweeping policy changes, there is the potential for something to be missed and unintentionally swept away, and here’s what happened.”
Reinectors hopes this issue becomes clear — and soon.
“It makes it all the more convincing to hear those musings and to image that image in 1814,” Rosenquest said.