Requirement of firearms possession
VOLOKH at mail.law.ucla.edu
Tue Aug 22 15:35:39 PDT 2000
I'm sorry if I misunderstood, but I had assumed that John was
referring to the post-Colonial period (with his reference to "state"
governments). Of course, I must acknowledge that my cite was to a federal
law, not a state law, which was what John was originally referring to. Does
anyone know whether any states had laws similar to the Militia Act in that
they also required pretty much all able-bodied adult white males to own
guns? I would have thought that the federal law must have had some state
precedents, but I'm not certain.
John Eastman originally wrote:
> I seem to recall reading some time ago that many local (or
> had requirements that every able-bodied adult male be in
possession of a
> flintlock. Is that not the case? (And I don't ask that
> really do not know). If it is, does Bellesile's research
mean that many failed
> to comply with this law? Or does it suggest that there
may be another
> explanation for the lack of reference in probate documents
Paul Finkelman then responded:
On John's point, most males apparently did not own a musket
or rifle of any kind,
they were VERY expensive and not pleantiful, and my guess is
that the "requirement"
is in part mythical and was rarely enforced or implemented,
however it was written.
> If the requirement of firearms possession was "mythical", it
> was a pretty realistic seeming myth, realistic enough to fool people who
> printed the federal statute books! The federal Militia Act of 1792, 2nd
> Cong. sess. I, ch. 33, provides that: . . .
Paul Finkelman finally wrote:
> I believe that John was referring to the Colonial period, as was I,
> which as even Eugene knows, is before the Federal statutes were written!
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