TOMBSTONE, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - As the sun set over Allen St. in Tombstone Saturday night, the sound of gun shots rang through town for the first time in more than three months.
The gunshots were fake of course, but represent the return of gunfight reenactments in Tombstone.
During a reenactment in October, actor Tom Carter fired five live bullets during the show. Fellow actor Ken Curtis was hit with one, a woman in the crowd nearby was grazed by a bullet fragment. Following the incident, Tombstone Mayor, Dusty Escapule, postponed all gunfights in the streets.
"There was nothing to control the discharge of blanks in the city limits," said the mayor.
On January 12, Tombstone mayor and council signed a new ordinance to put rules in place for gunfights on Tombstone streets. It outlines specific safety precautions that must be followed in any street gunfight.
"I had visions of a kid getting struck, my grandkids, my kids, your kids," said Escapule.
Under the new ordinance:
- Gunfights must have a special permit from the Tombstone Marshal's Office and the Marshal must have a list of each person participating in the show.
- The armorer must register himself with the Tombstone Marshal. The armorer must store all ammunition in a locked container, check all firearms before and after the event, and dispense the blank ammunition to each actor.
- The performance areas must be cordoned off by the event coordinator.
Saturday's gunfight was part of Tombstone at Twilight, a monthly show. The director, Chris Douglas, says his crew is ready and is making sure they keep up with all safety standards.
"We know that everybody is watching, that's why we are going to put on a performance that is a class act," said Douglas.
Saturday's gunfight was performed in front of a large crowd on Allen St. and there were no reported injuries. After the actors fell to the ground pretending to be dead, all of them got right back up.