By Jennifer McGraw

ELK GROVE (CBS13) – A war was lost before it ever could begin, according to local historians who were hoping to fire up a mock battle.

The Elk Grove Historical Society planned a Revolutionary War reenactment for more than a year and has had similar events in the past, but it’s now forced to cancel the event because of local gun laws.

The group had already printed up flyers to market the mock battle, hoping to draw in 3,000 people for the two-day event at a regional park.

“We would have encampments and all kinds of entertainment for the kids to see,” said Jim Entrican, facilities manager for the group and president of the Native Son of the Golden West in Elk Grove.

Late last year the society was told by the park district that the show could not go on.

“I don’t know. It’s just frustrating, very frustrating,” he said.

The reenactment was to include firing black powder muskets as a part of the history lesson, but the group was told that’s against the rules.

According to a city law which says you cannot “Use, maintain, possess, fire, or discharge any firearm.”

“There’s no firing guns in a park, but there’s exceptions for each one of the ordinances,” which he adds the exceptions have been made in the past and can’t understand why no now.

“They actually asked us if we can use wooden sticks, and can you see 12 men in full regalia and another 12 charging with wooden sticks saying ‘Bang bang!’ It just doesn’t have the same effect,” he said.

Soldiers who perform the reenactment say the simulated gunfire is a crucial element to the historical accuracy and in all the years they’ve been performing the battles, no other city has ever denied them a permit to perform.

“History is important and we’re losing it,” he said.

So for now, this history lesson will have to wait until the rules can be changed.

“We’re taking it one step further and trying to change the ordinance,” he said, but that could take months.

The group is working with the city and park district to come up with a solution before its next event.

Comments (98)
  1. Jackie Meyer says:

    Those sticks better not look like guns. Kids are expelled from school for simulating a hand gun with by forming a make-believe gun with their hand. (Only liberals come up with this wacko stuff.)

  2. Ed Gruberman says:

    This is interesting, because black powder guns are not considered guns in CA. You can get them delivered to your house. We’re not NJ for god’s sake.

  3. Dave Wimmer says:

    Are you people nuts? Or dont you have any

  4. Russ Haney says:

    Maybe they should use Pop-tarts. Oh, wait, it looks too much like a gun.

  5. John Pepin says:

    I guess shall not be infringed now means… must be taken away.

  6. Warrior of GOD says:

    Liberals hard at work trying to destroy our history…………..

  7. This leads back to the Monty Python question…”How do we defend ourselves against pointed sticks??

  8. Joe Snyder says:

    Black powder guns aren’t by law considered firearms. Looks like the park district doesn’t understand the laws.

  9. For decades living history and reenactors spend thousands out of pocket to create these events. Then some idiots make up BS rules and ask can we pretend a stick is a musket? No we can’t. Living history give up time and money to do these events while the towns and parks collect consumer $$$. We should have been charging a fee o do these events like the other demonstrators do. The groups who had planned and scheduled needs to tell the town to have fun with your dried weed craft sales we’ll not return nor will you see our money spent in your Pinocchio village.

  10. Karl Falken says:

    I wrote to Elk Grove Mayor, Steve Ly about this. He wrote back and said the city supports the event. He wrote that it is the Consumes Services District that is blocking the event. So, please update this article so the mayor and city council are not unfairly blamed.

  11. Brian Cook says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, the American Revolution started when the redcoats marched on the colonists in an attempt to disarm them. Our great war of independence from the Crown of England commenced over an attempt by the government to confiscate firearms from private citizens; that’s how we got here, folks. Now these fine people who want to preserve our history are told that they can’t do that. Absolutely disgraceful. The Founding Fathers are rolling in their honorable graves.

    One of them was the venerable George Washington. Our first President was my paternal fifth great grandfather’s direct commanding officer in the Revolutionary War, and I want to tell you all how that came about. We Americans were about to lose that war when General Washington decided on a bold military move that some at that time might have thought foolhardy at best: the Battle of Trenton. It turned the tide of the war, and eventually resulted in our winning that cherished independence that gave us America. General Washington’s troops were marching through eastern Pennsylvania when they came a knocking at my forbear’s door. They said that they needed help against the Hessian force that they were planning to fight the following morning. My dear ancestor spent his Christmas night crossing the Delaware River with them in the beginning stages of the battle that would change things forever for freedom itself. His compatriots in that great conflict were two other future Presidents, James Madison and James Monroe, as well as future Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton (there’s a lot of talk these days about the play that carries his surname, my ancestor fought right alongside him to establish our country).

    It is lamentable that you Californians have gone the way that you all have gone politically. Not only is the Golden State beautiful, her history is rich. The story of the courageous spirit of the pioneers who settled and grew your state is not told today, and I fear that you all may not have heard it. It only seems to worsen as time progresses, and that is sad. General Patton, my grandfather’s direct commanding officer in World War II, was a native Californian; he also is rolling in his grave right now.

    It’s time for you decent Californians to stand together to save your state before it’s too late; time is running out. Please answer that call.

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