Repository of Historical Gun Laws

Displaying 1 - 10 of 26 results
  • Text: Act XLVII: No man shall go or send abroade without a sufficient party well armed. Act XLVIII: No man shall go to work in the grounds without their arms, and a sentinel upon them. Act LI: All men that are fitting to bear arms, shall bring their pieces to the church upon pain of every offence, of the mayster allow not thereof to pay 2 lb. of tobacco, to be disposed by the church-wardens, who shall levy it by distress, and the servants be punished. (The Statutes at large: being a collection of all the laws of Virginia, from the first session of the legislature in the year 1619).
    Jurisdiction: Virginia
    Year: 1631
  • Text: All men that are fitting to bear arms, shall bring their pieces to the church upon pain for every offence, if the default be in the master, to pay 2lb of tobacco, to be disposed by the church-wardens, who shall levy it by distress, and the servants shall be punished [ ] commander. (The Statutes at large: being a collection of all the laws of Virginia, from the first session of the legislature in the year 1619).
    Jurisdiction: Virginia
    Year: 1632
  • Text: The Hon. Director and Council have considered it advisable to ordain that the Inhabitants residing at and around Fort Amsterdam, of what state, quality or condition soever they be, shall each provide himself with a good gun and keep the same in good repair and at all times ready and in order; and as they live at a distance from one another, every warned person is placed under his corporal in order that in time of danger he may appear at his post with his gun. Should it happen, which God forbid, that any mischief occur either from enemies or traitors at night, the people will be notified by the discharge of three cannon fired in quick succession; and if by day, means will be found to give warning to everyone, who is commanded thereupon to repair instantly to his corporal at the place appointed and then to adopt such measures as the exigency of the case shall require, on pain of being fined Fifty guilders.
    Jurisdiction: New York
    Year: 1640
  • Text: It is enacted and confirmed that masters of every family shall bring with them to church on Sundays one fixed and serviceable gun with sufficient powder and shot upon penalty of ten pound of tobacco for every master of a family so offending to be disposed of by the churchwardens who shall levy it by distress, and servants being commanded and yet omitting shall receive twenty lashes on his or their bare shoulders, by order form the county courts where he or they shall live.
    Jurisdiction: Virginia
    Year: 1642
  • Text: XIII. and for the better securing the Peace of the Kingdom be it further enacted and ordained and the respective Lieutenants or any two or more of their deputies are hereby enabled and authorized from time to time by Warrant under their Hands and Seals to employ such Person or Persons as they shall think fit (of which a Commissioned Officer and the Constable or his Deputy or the Tythingman or in the absence of the Constable and his Deputy and Tythingman some other Person bearing Office within the Parish where the Search shall be shall be to to search for and seize all arms in the custody or possession of any person or persons whom the said Lieutenant or any two or more of their deputies shall judge dangerous to the Peace of the Kingdom and to secure such arms for for the service aforesaid and thereof from time to time to give accounts of the said respective Lieutenants and in their absence as aforesaid or otherwise by their directions to their deputies or any two or more of them. [Provided that no such search be made in any house or houses between Sun setting and Sun rising other than in Cities and their suburbs and towns, Corporate market towns and houses within the bills of Mortality where it shall and may be lawful to search in the night time by Warrant as aforesaid if the warrant shall so direct and in case of resistance to enter by force and that no dwelling house of any peer of this Realm be searched by virtue of this Act but by immediate warrant from his Majesty under his sign manual or in the presence of the Lieutenant or one of the Deputy Lieutenants of the same Country or Riding and that in all places and houses whatsoever where search is to be made as aforesaid it shall and may be lawful in case of resistance to enter by force and that the arms so seized may be restored to the owners again if the said Lieutenants or in their absence as aforesaid their deputies or any two or more of them shall so think fit.
    Jurisdiction: English Law
    Year: 1662
  • Text: . . . the great Assembly should have power, by act confirmed as there expressed, to erect, raise and build within the said Province, or any part thereof, such and so many forts, castles, cities and other places of defense, and the same, or any of them, to fortify and furnish with such provisions and proportions of ordnance, powder, shot, armour and all other weapons, ammunition and abilments of war, both offensive and defensive, as shall be thought necessary and convenient for the safety and welfare of the said Province; as also to constitute train bands and companies, with the number of the soldiers . . . And that amongst the present Proprietors there are several that declare, that they have no freedom to defend themselves with arms, and others who judge it their duty to defend themselves, wives and children, with arms; . . . no man that declares he cannot for conscience sake bear arms, whether Proprietor or planter, shall be at any time put upon so doing in his own person, nor yet upon sending any to serve in his stead. And on the other side, those who do judge it their duty to bear arms for the publick defence, shall have their liberty to do in a legal way. In pursuance whereof, there shall be a fourth committee erected, consisting of six proprietors, or their proxies, and three of the freemen, that are to set in the other three committees, which shall be such as to understand it their duty to use arms for the publick defence; which committee shall provide for the publick defence without and peace within, against all enemies whatsoever; and shall therefore be stiled the committee for the preservation of the publick peace: And that all things may proceed in good order, the said committee shall propound-to the great Council what they judge convenient and necessary for the keeping the peace within the said Province, and for publick defence without, by the said great Council to be approved and corrected, as they, according to exigence of affairs, shall judge fit; the execution of which resolutions of the great Council shall be committed to the care of the said committee . . .
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1683
  • Text: § 1. That all male persons from sixteen years of age to sixty, (other than such as are herein after excepted), shall bear arms, and duly attend all musters and military exercises of the respective troops and companies where they are listed . . . § 5 That every listed solider and other householder (except troopers) shall be always provided with a well fixed firelock musket, or musket or bastard musket bore . . .
    Jurisdiction: Massachusetts
    Year: 1693
  • Text: I. WHEREAS it is necessary, in this time of danger, that the militia of this Colony should be well regulated and disciplined, Be it therefore enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly… that from and after the passing of this Act every … officer, bearing any commission in the militia of this Colony, shall be an inhabitant of, and resident in, the County of which he is or shall be commissioned…IV. …that every person so as aforesaid enlisted (except free mulattoes, negroes, and Indians) shall be armed in the manner following, that is to say: Every soldier shall be furnished with a firelock well fixed, a bayonet fitted to the same, a double cartouch-box. . . .
    Jurisdiction: Virginia
    Year: 1757
  • Text: ... That the Captain or Chief Officer of each military foot company, shall instruct and employ his Company in military exercises six days in a year . . . and on each of said days he shall make a strict enquiry into the state of the arms and ammunition of his Company . . . that every person from the age of sixteen to sixty, not exempted by law, shall appear with arms and ammunition according to law, and attend his duty each of the aforesaid days. . .
    Jurisdiction: Massachusetts
    Year: 1757
  • Text: Whereas it is necessary for the security and defence of this provicnce for internal dangers and insurrections that all persons resorting to places of public worship shall be obliged ot carry arms. 1. BE IT ENACTED, That immediately from and after the passing of this act, every male white inhabitant of this province (the inhabitants of the sea port towns only excepted who shall not be obliged to carry any other than side arms) who is or shall be liable to bear arms in the milita either at common musters or times of alarm, and resorting, on any Sunday or other times, to any church, or other place of divine worship within within the parish where such person shall reside, shall carry with him a gun, or a pair of pistols, in good order and fit for service, with at least six charges of gun powderand ball, and shall take the said gun or pistols with him to the pew or seat, where such person shall sit, remain, or be, within or about the said church or place of worship, under the penalty of ten shillings for every neglect of the same to be recovered by warrant of distress and sale of the offenders goods, under the hand and seal of any justice of the peace for the parish where such offence is committed, one half to be paid into the hands of the church wardens, or where there is no church wardens, to any justice for hte use of hte poor of the said parish, and the other half ot him or them that shall give information thereof. 2. And for the better and more effectual carrying this act into execution, BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That the church warden or church wardens of each respective parish,and the deacons, elders, or select men, of other places or public worship, shall be obliged, and they are hereby empowered to examine all such male persons, either in or about such places of public worship, at any time after the congregation is assembled, on Christmas and Easter days, and at least tweleve other times in every year, and if, upon finding any person or persons liable to bear arms and being then to places of worship as aforesaid, without the arms and ammuntion by this act directed, and shall not, within fifteen days after such offence is committed, inform against such person so offending, in order to recover the penalty as aforesaid, said church warden or church wardens, deacons, elders or select men, shall, for every such neglect of duty, or giving information as aforesaid, forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds to be recovered and applied as in this act is before directed. 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That any such person or persons thus liable to bring their arms, and being at any church or place of public worship as aforesaid, that shall refuse to be examined in or about such places of public worship, or neglect, on demand of the church warden or church wardens, deacons, elders, or select men respectively, to produce and show his or their arms and ammunition by this act required to be brought by such persons, to the intent it may be known whether the same be fit for immediate use and service, such person or persons so refusing or neglecting shall severally, and for every such offence, forfeit the sum of ten shillings, to be recovered and applied in such manner as the penalty for not bringing such arms in and by this act directed. 4. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this act shal lbe and continue in force for and during the term of three years, and from thence to the end of the next session of hte General Assembly, and no longer.
    Jurisdiction: Georgia
    Year: 1770
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Format: 2019
Format: 2019
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