Stec, Fort Edward Village Trustee and Historic Re-enactors Hold Press Conference on Event Cancellation due to State's Gun Laws

Daniel G. Stec

September 21, 2022

Long-running Rogers Island Military Camp event canceled over fears of liability, felony arrests

Senator Dan Stec (R,C-Queensbury) today joined Fort Edward Village Trustee Ed Carpenter and historic re-enactors at the Rogers Island Visitors Center to discuss the cancellation of the center’s annual military re-enactment because of the state’s new gun control laws.  

Concerns arose because, despite press statements from Governor Hochul to the contrary, the September 1 enactment of the new gun control laws has made possession of the muskets on park property like Rogers Island illegal. Organizers received a deluge of concerns and withdrawals from participants over potential criminal violations. To head off potential arrests and liability concerns for Fort Edward and the Rogers Island Visitors Center, organizers were compelled to cancel the long-running event. 

“The cancellation of popular events like the re-enactment at Rogers Island shows just how rushed and poorly written this legislation is, and why it needs to be repealed,” said Senator Stec. “In their rush to score political points, Governor Hochul and Democrat legislative leaders have turned historical re-enactors and organizers into potential felons. 

“Issue after issue continue to arise because of this hurried, ill-conceived law and the press statements from the governor’s office has only added to the confusion,” he added. “Governor Hochul and Democrat leaders must reconvene and repeal this measure. Instead of criminalizing historical re-enactments, let’s actually address crime in New York State.” 

“The interpretation of the new gun laws adopted by the State of New York has caused historical re-enactors from Eastern states and Canada to withdraw from the historical encampment re-enactment on Rogers Island,” said Fort Edward Village Trustee Ed Carpenter. “1,000 people were expected for the two-day event held in historic Fort Edward. With the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution coming soon, the laws need to allow re-enactors to legally participate in upcoming planned events across New York State.” 

Fort Edward Mayor Matthew Traver was unable to attend but added that he is “deeply disappointed with the cancellation of the re-enactment. While I agree new gun laws are necessary, the state was too quick to pass a law that wasn’t thought through enough."