Friday, December 4, 2015

Historic Weapons Policy

Monterey Pass Standards for Historic Weapons Use

Adopted from the Maryland Park Service/National Park Service

I. General Principles

A. These standards apply to the use of historic weapons for interpretive demonstration purposes by individuals and reactivated military units on lands administered by Washington Township (WT).

B. "Demonstration" means the loading and firing of one or more historic weapons on WT lands, for the purpose of public education, under the direction of a Certified Historic Weapons Safety Officer. It also pertains to live fire demonstrations and competitions on any shooting range on WT lands.

C. All Historic Weapons used in any demonstration must be appropriate to the time period being interpreted. Only full-scale cannons will be fired.

D. Every military unit performing a demonstration is required to have a Unit Safety Officer who will cooperate with the WT Safety Officer at the particular site where the demonstration is being held. The Unit Safety Officer will be thoroughly knowledgeable of these standards. The Unit Safety Officer is responsible for both the safe use and the safe condition of all the small arms weapons and artillery pieces being demonstrated by his unit. The Unit Safety Officer is accountable to the WT Safety Officer, who has final authority for any compromise or violation of these standards. The Unit Safety Officer will have signed a statement declaring his responsibilities as described within these standards.

E. The WT Safety Officer and the Unit Safety Officer have the power to order correction of any situation that he/she determines is a violation of safety. This power extends to stopping an unsafe demonstration and up to and including ejection of violators from the event and future events (future ejections will require incident reports to be prepared).

F. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age in order to carry and fire small arms, or to perform as part of an artillery detachment. This age requirement also applies to carrying and possessing ammunition, primers, or other explosive materials associated with historic weapons.

G. The WT Safety Officer has authority over any question or dispute that may arise concerning these standards.

II. Universal Standards for Historic Weapons Demonstrations

A. A WT Safety Officer must inspect all weapons brought onto WT lands, whether small arms, artillery, or edged weapons. The inspection will include a review of the drill or manual of arms to be used in weapons demonstrations.

During this review the Safety Officer will ensure that the demonstrator(s) is (are):
  1. Able to execute the required manual of arms or drill without error;
  2. Competent in performing the appropriate misfire procedures without mistake;
  3. Familiar with the nomenclature of the weapons they use;
  4. Instructed in a proper manner to present demonstrations with maximum safety to
  5. themselves and to the visitors.

B. Only upon inspection and approval by a WT Safety Officer will any weapon be used in a demonstration. The Safety Officer will have definitive authority to fail any weapon he/she feels is unsafe.

C. For protection from flash burns, all demonstrators firing historic weapons are required to wear natural fiber long-sleeve garments. These garments must be appropriate to the program and the historic period being interpreted.

D. Edged weapons will always be considered dangerous. Knives, hatchets, tomahawks, swords and bayonets must be carried in a properly made sheath that completely and safely covers sharp edges. Edged weapons may be unsheathed for public view as long as the demonstrator maintains control of the weapon and it is never pointed at or towards the public. Hatchets, tomahawks, and knives may also be unsheathed when being used as a camp tool. Military units may fix bayonets in order to stack their weapons, but the stacks must be guarded in order to ensure safety of the public. Demonstrations of bayonet drill, such as the McClellan Bayonet
Drill, are permissible provided they are performed in a safe area approved by a WT Safety Officer.

E. Before firing a cannon or small arm a safety message must be delivered to the visitors. This message must warn them of the loud noise, recommend caution to individuals with hearing aids, and advise control of children and/or pets.

F. Under NO circumstances will a weapon be discharged anywhere other than a duly constituted Individual Demonstration Area, Group Demonstration Area, or a Tactical Demonstration Area. Weapons will not be discharged in camp or anywhere off the field of demonstration.

G. At NO time will a demonstrator surrender control of a weapon to a member of the public. A visitor may be permitted to feel the heft of the weapon while the demonstrator holds the sling.

H. At NO time will a demonstrator carry live or ball ammunition during an event designed for blank firing. Live fire and blank fire will be conducted separately, with the demonstrator carrying only the type ammunition appropriate to the event.

I. Wadding and the use of ramrods are permitted for Individual and Group Demonstrations when there are no people downrange. Wadding and ramrod use are not permitted in Tactical Demonstrations.

J. Bulk Powder may not be brought onto WT lands by volunteers or reenactors participating in weapons demonstrations. All powder must be in cartridges appropriate to the type of weapon being demonstrated, which were prepared off park property.

K. Bulk Ammunition will be brought onto a WT site in secure, non-sparking boxes. After issuance to troops, ammunition will be kept in well-constructed and maintainedcartridge boxes, with secure leather or cloth webbing straps, and which are kept clean of loose powder granules. When left in camp, cartridge boxes will be under guard.Neither loaded nor empty cartridges will be given to the public. Ammunition will be kept away from open flame.

L. Following any Individual, Tactical, or Group Demonstration, individuals or units will police empty cartridges. As an alternative, troops may put empty cartridges in haversacks rather than drop them on the ground.

III. Rules for Individual Small Arms Demonstrations

A. All individual small arms demonstrations will have prior approval of the WT Safety Officer and must conform to the appended Small Arms Demonstration Checklist.

B. A minimum of two volunteers will be present for an individual small arms demonstration, one to operate the weapon, the other to provide crowd control and to watch for safety. Either may address the public. Each will be at least 16 years old. Well-trained WT employees may singly perform individual small arms demonstrations.

C. The loading and firing of any small arm will follow the correct Manual of Arms for the type weapon being demonstrated. Rifles for which there is no prescribed manual will nevertheless be operated in the safest manner possible.

D. Individual small arms demonstrations will be held in an area that conforms to the appended Range for Small Arms Blank Firing.

E. No weapon will be loaded and/or primed prior to the beginning of the demonstration or outside the demonstration area.

F. Blank charges for small arms will not exceed the maximum loads in the appendedTable of Maximum Loads for the particular weapon being demonstrated.

G. Small arms will be loaded from pre-wrapped paper cartridges prepared off-site prior to the demonstration and according to correct period procedures. Aluminum foil, coin wrappers, metal staples, and other modern expedients will not be used.

H. Demonstrators will carry cartridges in an authentic cartridge box comprised of leather and with tin inserts as appropriate for the time period being interpreted. The cartridge box must be worn well around on the right hip. The flap will be kept down at all times except when a cartridge is drawn.

J. In the event of a Misfire, small arms must be cleared according to the appended Small Arms Misfire Drill.

K. The Unit Safety Officer will be responsible for the safe conduct of any individual small arms demonstration undertaken by his unit.

Percussion Small Arms Misfire Drill

Level One:
1. Demonstrator or Interpreter explains to the public what is happening.
2. Hold weapon in firing position for 10 seconds to make sure there is no hang fire.
3. Return to the priming position and half cock the weapon.
4. Reprime the weapon, picking the touchhole in the cone if necessary.
5. Repeat firing demonstration from “Ready” command.
6. If, after the third attempt, the weapon does not fire, dismiss the visitors. Remove the weapon to a safe area and follow the procedure for a Level 2 misfire.

Level Two:
1. Remove the weapon to a safe area.
2. Flood the barrel with water.
3. Wait five minutes.
4. Dump remaining water from barrel and using a worm withdraw the cartridge.
5. Clean the weapon.

Level II Misfires for Musket and Rifle Misfire procedures.

When a firearm misfires:

1. Remain at position and...count to ten.
2. Repeat prime, aim, fire procedure
3. If the firearm does not discharge, pick the vent and repeat procedure number two.
4. If the firearm still does not discharge, repeat procedures number three and two.
5. Bring your firearm to RECOVER ARMS and announce "MISFIRE".
6. If more than one person is giving the firing demonstration...maintain RECOVER ARMS until firing demonstration is finished.
7. Upon completion of the firing demonstration, the Demonstration Supervisor will step forward with a C02 small arms discharge unit and blowout the powder charge. 

At no time should a worm and ramrod/cleaning rod be used to extract

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