Thursday, January 17, 2008

"... then the act itself was an infringement of the constitutional rights of the people to keep and bear arms..."

...This Court, in Nunn vs. The State, 1 Kelly, 243, in passing upon the Acts of 25th December, 1837, "To guard and protect the citizens of this State against the unwarrantable and too prevalent use of deadly weapons." Held,

That, so much of that Act as prohibited the citizen from bearing arms openly, was in conflict with the Constitution and void; that while the Legislature had the right to prescribe the mode of carrying arms, yet, if in doing so, the manner prescribed amounted to a prohibition, then the act itself was an infringement of the constitutional rights of the people to keep and bear arms. That decision has been constantly adhered to from that time to the present, and must continue to stand as the law of this Court on that subject. Yet, if the charge of the Court below is right, that decision is wrong; for it is impossible for one to have and bear about his person a pistol or weapon of any kind, without having some part of the weapon concealed from view. If one holds it in his hand, some part of it is hidden from the view, yet it is not concealed. So, if the barrel be pushed behind a belt or waistband of the pants, the whole pistol can not be seen by a third person; yet, such person, from the parts of the pistol exposed to view, can see at a glance that it is a pistol. To enforce the law, as the Court construed it to the jury, would be to prohibit the bearing of those arms altogether, and to bring the act within the decision in Nunn's case. This, the Legislature did not intend to do....

- Stockdale v. State, 32 Ga. 225 (1860).


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The origin of 'gun permits'?

""Article 6th. And to prevent as far as possible any cause or pretense on either side to break and infringe on the peace so happily established between Virginia and the Cherokees, it is agreed by the commissioners aforesaid and Indian chiefs that no white man on any pretense whatsoever shall build, plant, improve, settle, hunt, or drive any stock below the said boundary, on pain of being drove off by the Indians and his property of every kind being taken from him. But all persons who are or may hereafter settle above the said line are quietly and peaceably to reside thereon without being molested, disturbed, or hindered by any Cherokee Indian or Indians, and should the stocks of those who settle near above the line range over the same into the Indian land, they are not to be claimed by any Indians, nor the owner, or any persons for him, be prevented from hunting them, provided such person do not carry a gun; otherwise the gun and stock are both forfeited to the Indians or any other person who on due proof can make it appear. Nor is any Indian to hunt or to carry a gun within the said purchase without license first obtained from two justices, nor to travel from any of the towns over the hills to any part within the said boundary without a pass from the agent. This article shall be in full force until a proper law is made to prevent encroachment on the Indian lands, and no longer.""

- MR. JUSTICE CATRON deliver[ing] the opinion of the [U.S. Supreme] Court, quoting from the Cherokee treaty of 1777. Porterfield v. Clark, 43 U.S. 76 (1844)