Of murders and muskets: Pity the poor historical reenactors supposedly tripped up by New York's new gun laws – New York Daily News

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New York’s Sullivan Act, which regulated the concealed carry of firearms, was passed in 1911 — then invalidated in a flash this summer by a Supreme Court armed with a dangerously distorted understanding of the original meaning of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, ratified in 1791. Now groups of New Yorkers even more obsessed with the past than the six conservative justices are griping about the important laws the state passed to prevent a gun free-for-all in the wake of the June decision.
Those groups are historical reenactors. They dress up in red coats (for the British) and brown, blue and gray (for the good guys), or gray (for the Confederates) and blue (for the good guys), carry old weapons and take to parks and fairgrounds to engage in fake firefights. If you don’t mind the sound of muskets and cannons firing blanks, it’s fun enough.
Play soldiers can have their guns. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
But now the good folks who participate in these charades, bless their hearts, are laying down their arms for supposed fear of running afoul of state laws that ban guns in sensitive locations, which quite understandably include public parks and sports fields. Last weekend, a German Flatts reenactment was called off after the local sheriff consulted their attorneys. The village of Angelica up in Allegany County canceled a pretend battle scheduled for Sept. 23-25. We sure hope any tickets sold were fully refundable.
Gov. Hochul’s office has explicitly said the new law, which took effect Sept. 1, does not apply to reenactments; vintage weapons loaded with blanks are a-okay, as of course are prop guns on Broadway and on movie sets and in open-air theaters. If not, a Delacorte thespian might invite police enforcement upon asking, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?”
In any event, the geniuses up in Albany should look carefully at the law and clarify any ambiguity. And the pretending-to-be-wounded reenactors should stop complaining and realize that no one in black helicopters or jackboots is coming to shut down their quaint little costume dramas.
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News


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