Monday, February 10, 2014

"17th. That the people have a right to keep and bear arms..."

...17th. That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated militia, including the body of the people capable of bearing arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that the militia shall not be subject to martial law, except in time of war, rebellion, or insurrection; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be kept up, except in eases of necessity; and that at all times, the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power; that in time of peace no soldier ought to be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, and in time of war, only by the civil magistrate, in such manner as the law directs....

...Under these impressions, and declaring that the rights aforesaid cannot be abridged or violated, and that the explanations aforesaid are consistent With the said constitution; and in confidence that the amendments hereafter mentioned will receive an early and mature consideration, and conformably to the fifth article of said constitution; speedily become a part thereof: we, the said. delegates, in the name, and in the behalf, of the people of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do, by these presents, assent to, and ratify, the said constitution; in full confidence, nevertheless, that, until the amendments hereafter proposed and undermentioned, shall be agreed. to and ratified, pursuant to the aforesaid fifth article, the militia of this state will not be continued in service out of this state for a longer term than six weeks, without the consent of the Legislature thereof; that the Congress will not make or alter any regulation in this state respecting the times, places, and manner of holding election for Senators or Representatives, unless the Legislature of this state shall neglect or refuse to make laws or regulations for the purpose, or from any circumstance be incapable of making the same; and that, in those cases, such power will only be [Page 161] exercised until the Legislature of this state shall make provision in the premises; that the Congress will not lay direct taxes within this state, but where the moneys arising from the impost, tonnage, and excise, shall he insufficient for the public exigencies; nor until Congress shall have first made a requisition upon this state to assess, levy, and pay, the amount of such requisition, made agreeable to the census fixed in the said constitution, in such way and manner as the Legislature of this state shall judge best; and that Congress will not lay any capitation or poll tax.

Done in convention at Newport, in the county of Newport, in the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and in the fourteenth year of the independence of the United States of America.

By order of the convention,

DANIEL OWEN,President.

Daniel Updike,Secretary.

[Senate Journal --WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 1790. Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1793 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 1790. Library of Congress, American Memory, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875]

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