Newly-enacted gun control laws in New York state have reportedly caused the cancellation of “several historical war reenactments,” according to the Utica Observer-Dispatch, which said confusion surrounding the new laws “has disrupted” such events across the Empire State.
The Syracuse Post-Standard noted the new laws “prohibits carrying weapons in ‘sensitive locations’ such as public parks, museums, and sports fields, where many reenactments of American battles often take place.”
However, Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office is telling people the new legislation doesn’t prevent reenactments.
Still, the Observer-Dispatch is reporting that a Civil War reenactment scheduled for this coming weekend (Sept. 23-25) in the Allegany County village of Angelica was cancelled “after consulting local law enforcement about the new restrictions, and how they would prevent the use of weapons in historical events.”
Herkimer County Sheriff Scott Scherrer told the newspaper, “Our attorneys advised us that there is no exemption in the law for civil war reenactments. It would be illegal according to the letter of the governor’s law.”
The story also said a reenactment of the Battle of Plattsburgh, which was fought during the War of 1812, was also “put on hold.” But a report in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, the event went forward after local officials were assured nobody would be arrested.
But the flap over reenactments rekindled a long-standing problem with hastily-written gun control legislation. Invariably, such laws cause confusion and could lead to unintentional violations because something that used to be legal may now be illegal.
A statement from Gov. Hochul’s office insisted, “These laws allow historical re-enactments to occur and we will work with legislators and local law enforcement to ensure these events can legally and safely proceed.”
New York lawmakers scrambled following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 23 ruling striking down the state’s concealed carry “proper cause” requirement, which also put an end to the “two-step” process adopted by lower federal courts that applies “means-end scrutiny” to Second Amendment cases. The strategy was to adopt laws equally as strict as the nullified gun control law, and perhaps moreso. The new law establishes “sensitive locations” in which firearms are not allowed. While this mandate was aimed at prohibiting someone carrying or possessing a modern firearm in such areas, it has thrown tradition into the proverbial “cocked hat,” despite Hochul’s assurance this is not the case.
New York is rich in history involving guns. During the Revolutionary War, the state’s famous Mohawk Valley became a battleground. Remington Arms was founded in New York.