Repository of Historical Gun Laws

Displaying 1 - 10 of 101 results
  • Text: Item, it is ordained and assented, and also the King doth prohibit, That from henceforth no Man shall ride in Harness within the Realm, contrary to the Form of the Statute of Northampton thereupon made, neither with Launcegay within the Realm, the which Launcegays be clearly put out within the said Realm, as a Thing prohibited by our Lord the King, upon Pain of Forfeiture of the said Launcegays, Armours, and other Harness, in whose hands or Possession they be found that bear them within the Realm, contrary to the Statutes and Ordinances aforesaid without the King's special license. *Note* text in brackets in original.
    Jurisdiction: English Law
    Year: 1383
  • Text: Where in the Parliament holden at Westminster the fifteenth day of January in the twenty-fifth year of the King’s most gracious reign, and there continued and kept until the thirtieth day of March then next ensuing, among diverse and sundry wholesome and laudable acts, statutes, and ordinances one statute and ordinance was made and ordained for the avoiding and eschewing of shooting in crossbows and handguns; since the making of which act diverse malicious and evil disposed persons not only presume willfully and obstinately the violation and breach of the said Act, but also of their malicious and evil disposed minds and purposes have willfully and shamefully committed perpetrated and done diverse detestable and shameful murders, robberies, felonies, riot and rout with crossbows little short handguns and little hagbut, to the great peril and continual fear and danger of the Kings most loving subjects, and also diverse keepers of forests, chases and parks as well of our aid Sovereign Lord as other his Nobles and Commons and diverse Gentlemen, Yeomen and serving men now of late have laid apart the good and laudable exercise of the long bow, which always heretofore hath been the surest safeguard and continual defense of this Realm of England, and an inestimable dread and terror to the enemies of the same, and now of late the said evil disposed persons have used and yet do daily use to ride and go in the King’s highways and elsewhere having with them crossbows and little handguns, ready furnished with Quarrel (gunpowder, fire and touche to the great peril and fear of the King’s most loving subjects : For reformation whereof be it enacted, ordained and established by the King our Sovereign Lord the Lords spiritual and temporal and the Commons in the Present Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same, in manner and form following that is to say; that no person or persons of what estate or degree he or they be, except he or they in their own right or in the right of his or their wife to his or their own uses or any other to the use of such person or persons, have lands, tenements, fees, annuities or office to the yearly value of one hundred pounds, from or after the last day of June next coming shall shoot any crossbow, handgun, hagbutt or demy hake, or use or keep in his or their houses or elsewhere any Crossbow, handgun, hagbutt or demy hake, otherwise or in any manner then is hereafter in the present Act declared, upon pain to forfeit for every time that he or they so offending contrary to this act Ten Pounds.
    And further be it enacted by authority aforesaid that no person or persons, of what estate or degree soever he or they be, from or after the said last day of Une shall shoot in, carry, keep, use, or have in his house or elsewhere any handgun other than such as shall be in stock and gun of the length of one whole yard, or any hagbutt or demy hake being not of the length of three quarters of a yard, ten pounds sterling and that it shall be lawful to every person and persons who have lands, tenements, fees, annuities or office to the yearly value of one hundred pounds as is aforesaid, to seize and teake every such crossbow and also every handgun being in stock and gun shorter in length than one whole yard and every hagbut and demyhake being shorter in length than three quarters of a yard, or any of them; from the keeping or possession of every such offender contrary to the form of this act, and the same crossbow or crossbows to keep and retain for his or their own use and also the same handguns, hagbut and demy hake so seized and taken within twenty days next after the same seizure of taking to break and destroy upon pain of fourteen shillings for every gun so seized and not broken and destroyed, and th same so broked and destroyed to keep and retain to his own or their own use.
    And be it further enacted by authority aforesaid, that no person or persons, other than such as have land, tenement, fees annuities or office, to the yearly value of one hundred pounds as aforesaid, from or after the said last day of June shall carry or have, in his or their Journey, going or riding in the King’s highway or elsewhere, any crossbow bent or gun charged or furnished with powder, fire or touche for the same, except it be in time and service of war, upon pain to forfeit for every such offense ten pounds; the present act or any thing therein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
    And be it further enacted by authority aforesaid, that no person or persons form the last day of June shall in anyways shoot in or with any handgun demyhake or hagbutt at any thing at large, within any city, borough, or market town or within one quarter of a mile of any city, borough or market town, except it be at a butt or bank of earth in place convenient, or for the defense of his person or house, upon pain to forfeit for every such shot ten pounds; the present act or anything therein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
    Jurisdiction: English Law
    Year: 1541
  • Text: Laws of Plymouth Colony (1671). Whereas several persons have been greatly endangered by setting of guns, it is enacted by the Court and the authority thereof that none shall sett any guns except in enclosures and that the gun be sufficiently enclosed so as it be secure from hurting man or beast and that he that setteth the gun do give warning or notice thereof to all the neighbors on penalty of paying a fine of five pounds to the use of the Colony for every default.
    Jurisdiction: Massachusetts
    Year: 1671
  • Text: And Whereas a most dangerous Method of setting Guns has too much prevailed in this Province, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons within this Colony shall presume to set any loaded Gun in such Manner as that the same shall be intended to go off or discharge itself, or be discharged by any String, Rope, or other Contrivance, such Person or Persons shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Six Pounds; and on Non-ayment thereof shall be committed to the common Gaol of the County for Six Months.
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1771
  • Text: And be it further enacted, [t]hat for every such weapon, sold or given, or otherwise disposed of in this State, the person selling, giving or disposing of the same, shall pay a tax of one hundred dollars, to be paid into the county Treasury; and if any person so selling, giving or disposing of such weapon, shall fail to give in the same to his list of taxable property, he shall be subject to the pains and penalties of perjury.
    Jurisdiction: Alabama
    Year: 1837
  • Text: . . . it shall not be lawful for any merchant, or vender of wares or merchandize in this State, or any other person or persons whatsoever, to sell, or offer to sell, or to keep, or to have about their person or elsewhere, any of the hereinafter described weapons, to wit: Bowie, or any other kinds of knives, manufactured and sold for the purpose of wearing, or carrying the same as arms of offence or defense, pistols, dirks, sword canes, spears, &c., shall also be contemplated in this act, save such pistols as are known and used as horseman's pistols, &c.
    Jurisdiction: Georgia
    Year: 1837
  • Text: That if any merchant, . . . shall sell, or offer to sell . . . any Bowie knife or knives, or Arkansas tooth picks . . . such merchant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof upon indictment or presentment, shall be fined in a sum not less than one hundred dollars, nor more than five hundred dollars, and shall be imprisoned in the county jail for a period not less than one month nor more than six months.
    Jurisdiction: Tennessee
    Year: 1838
  • Text: Any person who shall, within this State, hereafter manufacture, or cause to be manufactured, or sell, or expose for sale, any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, shall be punished therefor by a fine not less than fifty dollars, or by imprisonment in the common jail or house of correction, for a term not exceeding six months.
    Jurisdiction: Massachusetts
    Year: 1850
  • Text: Police Regulations Of the State. Offences Against Public Peace. Concealed Weapons. § 4746. Any person who carries under his clothes or concealed about his person, a bowie-knife, Arkansas tooth-pick or other knife or weapon of like form and shape or size, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Selling such weapons misdemeanor. § 4747. It is a misdemeanor to sell, or offer to sell, or to bring into the state for the purpose of selling, giving away or otherwise disposing of any knife or weapon mentioned in the preceding Section.
    Jurisdiction: Tennessee
    Year: 1867
  • Text: Whoever manufactures, or causes to be manufactured, or sells, or exposes for sale, any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, or metallic knuckles, shall be punished by fine not less than fifty dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months.
    Jurisdiction: Florida
    Year: 1868
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