A New York law that designates parks and other sensitive areas as gun-free zones has historical battle reenactors worried that they might be branded as criminals after holding an event.
“We’ve been getting reports from units that were supposed to attend that they don’t feel comfortable transporting muskets or bringing muskets to the site. And so at that point, we decided that it was probably best not to go ahead,” reenactor Harold Nicholson told The Associated Press.
Three historical reenactments have already been canceled this month, two American Civil War battles and a Revolutionary War raid. Organizers of the events say they canceled the events because they don’t want to accidentally turn elderly history buffs into felons.
The caution comes despite Gov. Kathy Hochul’s insistence that historical battles are OK and that reenactors should not fear prosecution.
“We will work with legislators and local law enforcement to ensure these events can proceed as they have for centuries. In the meantime, individuals who have lawfully participated in reenactments should continue to do so,” reads a statement from the governor’s office.
Some reenactment groups have taken the administration’s promise to heart and have continued as planned.
“Both the governor’s office and the state leadership advised us to just continue operations as usual. said Beth Hill, CEO of the Fort Ticonderoga Association.
The new law that spooked reenactors was passed in early September in response to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a state law that required people to demonstrate a specific danger before being able to carry a firearm in public.