Repository of Historical Gun Laws

Displaying 1 - 10 of 51 results
  • Text: Whereas the Director General and Council of New Netherland have observed that many persons, both Servants of the Company and Inhabitants, have contrary to the orders and commands of their High Mightiness the Lords States General and the Incorporated West India Company, presumed to sell to the Indians in these parts, Guns, Powder and Lead, which hath already caused much mischief, and if no means be adopted by Us here to prevent the same would hereafter entail nothing else than greater evil; Therefore every inhabitant of New Netherland, be his state, quality or condition what it may, is most expressely forbidden to sell any Guns, Powder or Lead to the Indians on pain of being punished by Death, and if any one shall inform against any person who shall violate this law, he shall receive a reward of Fifty guilders. . .
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1639
  • 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: An Act Against Wearing Swords, Etc. Whereas there hath been great complaint by the inhabitants of this Province, that several persons wearing swords, daggers, pistols, dirks, stilettoes, skeines, or any other unusual or unlawful weapons, by reason of which several persons in this Province, receive great abuses, and put in great fear and quarrels, and challenges made, to the great abuse of the inhabitants of this Province. . . And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no person or persons after publication hereof, shall presume privately to wear any pocket pistol, skeines, stilettoes, daggers or dirks, or other unusual or unlawful weapons within this Province, upon penalty for the first offence five pounds, and to be committed by any justice of the peace, his warrant before whom proof thereof shall be made, who is hereby authorized to enquire of and proceed in the same, and keep in custody till he hath paid the said five pounds, one half to the public treasury for the use of this Province, and the other half to the informer: And if such person shall again offend against this law, he shall be in like manner committed upon proof thereof before any justice of the peace to the common jail, there to remain till the next sessions, and upon conviction thereof by verdict of twelve men, shall receive judgment to be in prison six month, and pay ten pounds for the use aforesaid. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no planter shall ride or go armed with sword, pistol or dagger, upon the penalty of five pounds, to be levied as aforesaid, excepting all officers, civil and military, and soldiers while in actual service, as also all strangers, travelling upon their lawful occasions through this Province, behaving themselves peaceably.
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1686
  • Text: [An Act Concerning Slaves, Etc. Whereas complaint is made by the inhabitants of this Province, that they are greatly injured by slaves having liberty to carry guns and dogs into the woods and plantations, under the pretense of gunning, do kill swine. Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Deputies in General Assembly met and assembled and by the authority of the same] that no slave or slaves within this Province after publication hereof, be permitted to carry any gun or pistol, or take any dog with him or them into the woods, or plantations, upon any pretense whatsoever: Unless his or their owner or owners, or a white man, by the order of his or their owner or owners, be with the said slave or slaves, upon the penalty of twenty shillings for the first offence, and for the second offence, thirty shillings and so for every offence after so committed ten shillings more. . .
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1694
  • Text: [T]hat if any Person or Persons shall presume, at any Time after the Publication hereof, to carry any Gun, or hunt on the improved or inclosed Lands in any Plantation, other than his own unless he have Licence or Permission from the Owner of such Lands or Plantation . . . And if any person whatsoever, who is not owner of one hundred acres of land, or otherwise qualified, in the same manner as persons are or ought to be electing representatives to serve in general assembly shall at any time after the publication hereof, carry any gun, or hunt in the woods or unenclosed lands, without license or permission obtained from the owner or owners of such lands . . . such offender shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten shillings.
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1741
  • Text: That if any Negro or Mulatto Slave or Slaves shall be seen or found from his or their Masters [sic] House, after the Hour of Nine at Night except on their Masters [sic] or Mistresses [sic] particular Business, or shall be seen to hunt, or carrying a Gun on the Lord’s Day; the Constable or Constables of such Town or Precinct, on Information or Knowledge thereof, shall and are hereby required and directed, to apprehend and carry such Negro and Mulatto Slaves before the next Justice of the Peace, who shall order such Negro or Mulatto Slave or Slaves, if found Guilty, to be whipped as by the preceding Clause of this Act is directed. Provided always, That nothing herein contained, shall be construed or taken, to prevent any Negro or Mulatto Slave from going to Church or Meeting, and attending on Divine Service or from Burying their Dead, with their Masters [sic] or Mistresses [sic] Consent.
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1750
  • Text: An Act for the Preservation of Deer, and other game, and to prevent trespassing with guns (Dec. 21, 1771): Whereas the laws heretofore passed in this colony, for hte preservation of deer and other game, and to prevent trespassing with guns, traps, and dogs, have, by experience, been found insufficient to answer the salutory purposes thereby intended, therefore -- § 1. Be it Enacted by the Governor, Council and General Assembly of this colony of New Jersey, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That if any person or persons shall presume, at any time after the publication hereof, to carry any gun on any lands not his own, and for which the owner pays taxes, or is in his lawful possession, unless he hath license or permission in writing from the owner or owners, or legal possessor, every such person so offending, and convicted thereof, either upon the view of any justice of the peace within this colony, or by the oath or affirmation of one or more witnesses, before any justice of the peace of either of the counties, cities, or towns corporate of this colony, in which the offender or offenders may be taken or reside, he or she , or they, shall for every offence, forfeit and pay to the owner of the soil, or his tenant in possession, the sum of forty shillings, with costs of suit; which forfeiture shall and may be sued for and recovered by the owner of the soil, or tenant in possession before any justice of the peace in this colony, for the use of such owner or tenant in. possession.
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1771
  • 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: An Act for the Preservation of Deer, and other game, and to prevent trespassing with guns (1771), § 1. Be it Enacted by the Governor, Council and General Assembly of this colony of New Jersey, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That if any person or persons shall presume, at any time after the publication hereof, to carry any gun on any lands not his own, and for which the owner pays taxes, or is in his lawful possession, unless he hath license or permission in writing from the owner or owners, or legal possessor, every such person so offending, and convicted thereof, either upon the view of any justice of the peace within this colony, or by the oath or affirmation of one or more witnesses, before any justice of the peace of either of the counties, cities, or towns corporate of this colony, in which the offender or offenders may be taken or reside, he or she , or they, shall for every offence, forfeit and pay to the owner of the soil, or his tenant in possession, the sum of forty shillings, with costs of sit; which forfeiture shall and may be sued for and recovered by the owner of the soil, or tenant in possession before any justice of the peace in this colony, for the use of such owner or tenant in possession. . . § 3. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if the person or persons offending against this act be non-residents of this colony, he or they shall forfeit and pay for every such offence, five pounds, and shall forfeit his or their gun or guns to any person or persons, who shall inform and prosecute the same to effect, before any justice of the peace in any county of this colony, wherein the offender or offenders may be taken or apprehended.
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1771
  • Text: That any Person who, from and after the Publication of this Act, shall offer any Gun-Powder for Sale, without being previously inspected and marked as is herein after directed, shall forfeit, for every such Offence, the Sum of Five Shillings a Pound for every Pound weight so offered for Sale, and so in Proportion for greater or lesser quantity[.]
    Jurisdiction: New Jersey
    Year: 1776
Control or Command + Click for multiple selections
Format: 2019
Format: 2019
For first millennium dates, use a leading zero. For example, '0602' for year 602.