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View Full Version : Gun ban takes shot at re-enactors, hunters



rscalzo
05-10-2007, 10:05 AM
Proposal would prohibit battlefield muskets and popular deer muzzleloaders

Thursday, May 10, 2007

BY BRIAN T. MURRAY
Star-Ledger Staff

The Continental Army and the Redcoats may have to go at each other with baseball bats in New Jersey.

Revolutionary War buffs who annually re-enact historic conflicts like the Battle of Monmouth with muskets contend they will be disarmed by a proposed gun ban aimed at modern .50-caliber rifles that gun-control advocates call potential terrorist "sniper" weapons.

A bill in the Assembly (A3998) states that antiques and replica guns will be excluded from the ban, but gun advocates say the measure caps that exclusionary rule at .60-caliber rifles -- which would ban muskets carried by many Civil War re-enactors, as well as the Continental Army. The proposed law also extends the ban to popular, one-shot "in-line" muzzleloaders used by thousands of deer hunters, angering many sporting organizations.

"Just about every rifle carried on the American continent prior to 1855 were larger than .60-caliber," said Peter Hefferan of Wantage, a re-enactor and owner of Reactive Technologies, a private firearms consulting operation that works with law enforcement.

"You'll wipe out re-enactors of the American Revolution. The whole concept of the re-enactment is history, and it is required that everything be accurate right down to the threading of the garments and the number of buttons, even the type of buttons," he said.

The arrest this week of six suspected terrorists accused of trying to kill personnel at Fort Dix has provided some steam for the controversial gun-ban bill.

"We have no intent of damaging or impeding the ability of hunters to hunt or re-enactors to do what they do," said Bryan Miller of Cease Fire New Jersey. "But every time we try to get people from the other side of this debate to help us draft a bill that works, they refuse. If this bill is flawed, it's their own fault."

Still, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), a primary sponsor of the .50-caliber ban, said he hopes to clear up the dispute with hunters and re-enactors by introducing amendments today when the measure goes before the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee in Trenton.

"I just went to a tour of the Princeton battlefield today, so I understand the importance of the re-enactors and I plan to make sure the legislation is clearer so they are not affected. The amendments also will take out in-line muzzleloaders," Gusciora said.

The target of the law is supposedly the civilian model of the .50-caliber BMG rifle, including the bolt-action as well as any semi-automatic version of the gun. Such rifles are capable of effectively firing a .50-caliber, fixed-ammunition round about 1,000 yards.

A few trained military snipers have been able to kill enemy targets at much longer distances since the guns were invented in 1917.

Large and cumbersome, they are not widely owned in the United States, have not been used in crimes and, according to firearms experts, cannot shoot down commercial airplanes as some claim. But gun-control activists contend the large-caliber rifle has no legitimate sporting purpose and that, in the era of home-grown terrorists, the time has come to ban the gun.

"Especially in light of the events this week at Fort Dix, we need to remember we're now in a post-9/11 world where we have to be worried about someone misusing this gun," Gusciora said.

The in-line rifles and the guns used by re-enactors are all muzzleloaders -- rifles that use technology dating back hundreds of years. They do not use modern ammunition cartridges.

They are loaded by pouring black powder or powder pellets down the barrel of the rifle and then packing a bullet-type projectile down the barrel on top of the charge.

Some old models are ignited by burning a wick, as with the famous "Three Musketeers." Most replicas and in-line models used today are ignited by pulling a trigger that brings a hammer down to ignite a powder cap or an open pan of black powder, which sends a spark into the chamber of the rifle to ignite the packed powder and projectile in the muzzle.

The hammers are traditionally on the side of the rifle.

But modern "in-line" muzzleloading rifles have the hammer directly at the rear of the gun -- largely to permit hunters to keep their powder dry in damp whether.

About 9,200 deer are shot annually in New Jersey by muzzleloader hunters.

"In-line muzzleloaders are one of the most popular deer guns around. This bill attacks hunting along with the .50-caliber gun they want to ban," said George Howard of the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. "They almost banned shotguns the last time they tried a bill like this, and I don't know whether it's deliberate or they just don't know what they are doing."

Legislative attempts to ban the .50-caliber BMG rifle have gone on for nearly a decade, but they also have stalled because of murky wording.

"I understand the intent of the law, and I might even agree with that intent," said John Peppas of Long Valley, who is part of the Revolutionary War re-enactment group, the 4th Light Continental Dragoons. "But I don't understand why they can't place the prohibition on the guns they want to prohibit, and not our replicas."

derek
05-10-2007, 10:06 AM
"I understand the intent of the law, and I might even agree with that intent," said John Peppas of Long Valley, who is part of the Revolutionary War re-enactment group, the 4th Light Continental Dragoons. "But I don't understand why they can't place the prohibition on the guns they want to prohibit, and not our replicas."

Can someone take the knife out of my back... [angry]

Scrivener
05-10-2007, 10:33 AM
Some old models are ignited by burning a wick, as with the famous "Three Musketeers." Most replicas and in-line models used today are ignited by pulling a trigger that brings a hammer down to ignite a powder cap or an open pan of black powder, which sends a spark into the chamber of the rifle to ignite the packed powder and projectile in the muzzle.

The hammers are traditionally on the side of the rifle.

But modern "in-line" muzzleloading rifles have the hammer directly at the rear of the gun -- largely to permit hunters to keep their powder dry in damp whether [sic].

Has anyone EVER seen a woodcut, print, diary or any other contemporary account of the American Revolution which indicates a combatant used a matchlock?

Why have a 30" barrel if "the packed powder and projectile" are "in the muzzle?"

What in-line uses a "a powder cap or an open pan of black powder?"

Not being a hunter, still less a BP hunter, please explain to me how having "the hammer directly at the rear of the gun" some allows "hunters to keep their powder dry in damp whether [sic]?"

bpm990d
05-10-2007, 10:48 AM
Dude, they play dress up. What do you expect.

B

LoginName
05-10-2007, 11:03 AM
What's really irritating is how the antis have latched on to the "terrorism" angle
as an excuse to further their agenda.... "Ohhh, look!... "Here's something we can really use to scare the sheeple with and get a gun ban in place". [frown]

KMaurer
05-10-2007, 11:21 AM
"We have no intent of damaging or impeding the ability of hunters to hunt or re-enactors to do what they do," said Bryan Miller of Cease Fire New Jersey. "But every time we try to get people from the other side of this debate to help us draft a bill that works, they refuse. If this bill is flawed, it's their own fault."

We keep asking the people we've chosen to be executed to help us out by bringing their own rope, but they refuse. So if the ropes around their necks are uncomfortable it's their own damn fault.

Ken

Emoto
05-18-2007, 02:47 PM
Proposal would prohibit battlefield muskets and popular deer muzzleloaders

...Still, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), a primary sponsor of the .50-caliber ban, said ...

"I just went to a tour of the Princeton battlefield today, so I understand the importance of the re-enactors and I plan to make sure the legislation is...[/I][/B]


How about if he takes a tour of the Constitution and Bill of Rights???? [frown]

Scrivener
05-18-2007, 02:51 PM
I just went to a tour of the Princeton battlefield today, so I understand the importance of the re-enactors and I plan to make sure the legislation is clearer so they are not affected.


Yep; when the FF drafted the Bill of Rights, they included the Second Amendment so we could celebrate their sacrifices by dressing up and fire blanks from antiques....................

drgrant
05-18-2007, 02:59 PM
Can someone take the knife out of my back... [angry]


I feel the same way (seeing RCOB about now!)

It took all I could muster to prevent myself from depositing the lunch I just
ate back onto the desktop. [angry]

-Mike

dwarven1
05-18-2007, 03:13 PM
If I were to move back to NJ this weekend I would become an instant felon the minute I crossed the NY/NJ border - I own a dreaded baby-killing Assault Weapon: an M1 Carbine.

They're not worried about the M1 Garand, though. [rolleyes]

Weird feeling to know you can't go home again...

rscalzo
05-18-2007, 04:24 PM
In NJ you can own a M1A or AR15 by not the M1 Carbine. Ballistically it about is the equal to a handgun firing a 357 Sig round. The 15 round magazine would be legal, not the 30. My thinking is that there wasn't enough interest in that firearm to have it removed from the list. Seems like all it would take was the removal of the evil bayonet lug.

KMaurer
05-18-2007, 09:09 PM
If I were to move back to NJ this weekend I would become an instant felon the minute I crossed the NY/NJ border - I own a dreaded baby-killing Assault Weapon: an M1 Carbine.

They're not worried about the M1 Garand, though. [rolleyes]

Weird feeling to know you can't go home again...

Yeah, it's sort of weird being exiled. I've got 3 or 4 guns I purchased and owned when I lived in California that are now on the evil baby-killing self-firing gun list. Of course I didn't register them in time, since I wasn't a resident when they passed the law.

Ken

dwarven1
05-18-2007, 10:08 PM
Well... for better or worse, NJ just isn't home any more. It's where I grew up, but the town has changed - lots more people, lots less open space... lots more restrictive laws... lot less places to shoot...

I've been here in MA for 20 years now. MA is home to me now. I get that coming home feeling when I see the MA border coming in sight on 84 - I don't get that feeling on the GSP now. Too much has changed, including me.

Hey, if MA wasn't my home, I wouldn't have gotten to meet you all! So there are pluses to this whole MA thing after all.

rscalzo
05-18-2007, 10:13 PM
Twenty years ago we could go out into the meadowland area and bring some handguns and a Mini-14 and my M-1 Carbine and have some fun. Those days are long gone. I didn't have to go a half mile to our pistol range to practice. That's gone.

the town has grown way too crowded. Probably the only up side is the Cabela's now under construction. I can't stand more than a few days back there but as long as family still resides there, I'm stuck going back every so often.

I know the feeling about coming home. When I hit the 90/495 intersection I know I'm almost home...

dwarven1
05-18-2007, 10:22 PM
I have fond memories of a carload of 20-something-year-olds, a couple hundred dollars worth of ammo, what seemed like an arsenal (to me, back then, anyway!) and a sand pit in southern Jersey. I doubt we could do that down there now.

MarkM
05-19-2007, 07:09 AM
What's really irritating is how the antis have latched on to the "terrorism" angle[frown]

Didn't you know - Mr Pizza Delivery Guy in NJ and his five buddies had saved up their tips and bought Barrett M82A1s that they were going to try to sneak into Fort Dix shoved down their pants - their cunning scheme if stopped and questioned at the gate would be to say "No I don't have a deadly evil black sniper rifle in my pants, I'm just happy to see you"

[rolleyes]

Lynne
05-20-2007, 01:46 PM
Can someone take the knife out of my back... [angry]

The sad part is that a lot of re-enactors are not modern gun owners. When Chapt. 180 had hearings going on, the Lexington Minute Men and others that took part in Battle Road went to the State House and told them "you can forget about Patriot's Day events if the bill stands as written". Well...since tourism would have taken a hit, they took out the Brown Bess's and muskets. Problem was, the re-enactors didn't stand up for modern guns. If they had, it might have turned out a bit different.


Dude, they play dress up. What do you expect.

B

Most of the folks I know who "dress up" are defenders of the 2nd A. While not all re-enactors are defenders of it, don't use such a broad brush.

OnTheRoad
05-20-2007, 02:18 PM
Didn't you know - Mr Pizza Delivery Guy in NJ and his five buddies had saved up their tips and bought Barrett M82A1s that they were going to try to sneak into Fort Dix shoved down their pants - their cunning scheme if stopped and questioned at the gate would be to say "No I don't have a deadly evil black sniper rifle in my pants, I'm just happy to see you"

[rolleyes]...and now the SKS has joined the ranks of the evil automatic assault weapons:
MOSCOW, Idaho - Law enforcement officers stormed a church where they believed a shooter or shooters were hiding on Sunday, finding two bodies inside, police said...
...The dead included the likely shooter who had wounded two officers and a civilian with bursts of automatic gunfire late Saturday or early Sunday, police said. Law officers from two states poured into the town by roadway and aircraft as the scene unfolded. Police say the shooter fired from two positions, first an outside location and then from inside the church. One weapon, an SKS Assault rifle, and several magazines were recovered.The dead officer is identified as Lee Newville. Police say Deputy Sheriff Brannon Jordan is is serious condition with multiple gunshot wounds. Police describe the shooting as an "ambush" on the county sheriff's office.
Sorry for the thread hijack.