To amend section 4747 of the Code so as to make it a misdemeanor to buy or sell a dirk, Bowie knife, pocket pistol, etc., etc.
Mr. Hodges hoped the Senate would not pass this bill, which proposed to interfere with the rights of trade, as recognized throughout the country. The object of the author of the bill was the suppression of the use of the articles.
It was here ascertained that the bill had been passed on its third reading yesterday, and on motion of Mr. Jones, the vote passing the bill was reconsidered.
Mr. Hodges, resuming, said this bill was an impracticable way to reach the object had in view. It could not prevent the desperado from procuring and using arms, nor would it prevent men from arming themselves in their own self-defense. He thought the punishment of the illegal use of weapons would reach the case.
Mr. Logan. could see no objection to the bill. It was not in conflict with the Constitution. The Legislature in 1837 enacted a somewhat similar law, and the Supreme Court has sustained that law. The good of society and the safety of life demanded the suppression of the free use of deadly weapons, as the records of our criminal courts show to be the case. Remove the means of committing these crimes, and the evil would be remedied.
Mr. Wade was opposed to the bill. Such laws did not accomplish the object sought, and their tendency was to make the people law-breakers. He could see no good to result from the passage of the bill, while it would be attended with evil. He did not question the power of the Legislature to enact such a law, but it was a question of policy. We have a law preventing the sale of playing cards, but they are sold everywhere. Such laws beget in the people a disregard for law, which should not be encouraged. We have laws already preventing the sale or carrying of deadly weapons, and its enforcement would certainly reach the evils complained of.
Mr. Marye called attention to the fact that our present laws prohibited the sale of all the weapons mentioned in the bill under consideration, except the pocket pistol and the revolver.
Mr. Marchbanks suggested that it would be better to close those "hell-holes" which inflamed men to commit murder. The pistol was not the guilty party, but the man who used it. The reform must begin with him.
The bill was then passed, ayes 16, noes 7, as follows:
Ayes--Messrs. Aden, Blizzard, Boyd, Emmert, Haynes, Jones, Jordan, Logan, Mosley. Overton, Polk. Quarles, Trotter, Turley, Wilson, and Speaker--Paine 16.
Noes--Messrs. Butler, Ellis, Hodges, Marchbanks, Marye, Smith and Wade--7.
[Nashville Union and American, Nashville, Tenn. Thursday, January 14, 1875. New Series--No. 1,971. Pg. 3 - Excerpted from the article titled; "Tennessee Legislature", under the Subheadings "Senate", "Senate Resolutions".]