Gun Laws and Reenacting

June 28, 2012 - No Comments

by Jim Barnes

If you have read this blog for a while, you are aware that we steer clear of modern politics. In fact, that is our policy. There is usually plenty of other venues venting their spleen on political topics. However, gun ownership is one issue that is inextricably tied to our hobby, particularly so for the more modern eras. Therefore, I am making an exception at this point. (After all, its my blog and I can do what I want. 🙂

Unless you have been hiding under a rock lately, you are probably aware that New York State has passed new gun laws severely limiting the ownership of semi-automatic weapons. Moreover, the new law “amends Penal Law � 265.00(23) to ban all large
capacity magazines that have the capacity to hold more than ten rounds of ammunition including those that were grandfathered in under the original assault weapons ban and creates a new ban on magazines that hold more than seven rounds of ammunition.
” according to the ‘USA Carry” website. The bill goes on to state that: “Magazines that can hold more than seven rounds but not more than ten rounds and are currently possessed will be grandfathered in, but may only contain seven rounds of ammunition. Exceptions are made for large capacity magazines that are curios or relics.

Reducing the capacity of  mags from 10 rounds to 7 sounds almost certainly as if it is aimed at the M1 Garand, but also slams the British Lee-Enfields and Russian SVTs as well. Obviously this bill goes way beyond any “assault weapon” definition that is being considered anywhere else, since ten rounds seems to be the  standard dividing line elsewhere. Whatever jackass wrote this law evidently knew the capacity of a Garand. The bill was probably then railroaded through a legislature afraid of appearing unwilling to ‘prevent gun violence.’ From what I know of legislatures and the people who populate them, probably most of the representatives who voted for the bill were only vaguely aware of what it contained. While the more militant politicians may have ideological causes, most are just self-serving hacks who just want to get reelected so they can hold onto the power and money the jobs bring. That means they will often cave in to whatever group yells the loudest. In this case, it was the gun-haters, who exploited a horrible tragedy to further an agenda  that was already in place.

This obviously causes problems for reenactors with 20th century impressions in New York state. The Odessa events have been premier examples of go0d, well-run WWII  tacticals for both Eastern and Western fronts. What will happen to them now is a question. I have emailed the sponsors, but have not yet gotten a response. In all likelihood, they are probably trying to figure it out themselves. I wish them well. From what I have heard the police and proscutors are in much the same boat. If anyone has any updates or further information on this situation, please comment.

I don’t know what types of living history events take place over the state of New York, but if I lived there, I would be very reluctant to take part in any state-sponsored events (if such exist)  from this point on. Why feed the dog that just bit you? That would be my reaction in my own state, if it pulled something like this.

All this is just my personal opinion, of course.



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