Saturday, March 15, 2014

"as not to infringe the constitutioual right to keep and bear arms...."


   I call your attention specially to Sec. 932 of the Revised Statutes, concerning carrying concealed weapons.

   A person is guilty of the offense set out, if he carries on or about his person, a weapon which is only partly concealed. It must be fully exposed not to be concealed. The object of the law is to protect the orderly and well disposed citizen from the treacherous use of weapons so frequently resorted to by evil disposed men, who seek an advantage over their antagonists in the disturbances and breaches of the peace, which they are prone to provoke, 11 Ann. page 683[?], Late Chief Justice Manning, in the case of State vs. Blas, 37 Ann, 260. says; The manifest object of the statute was to prevent the carrying of dangerous weapons--to stamp out a practice that has been and is fruitful of bloodshed, misery and death--and yet so to prohibit the carrying as not to infringe the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

   The constitutional right is to bear arms openly, so that when one meets an armed man there can be no mistake about the fact that he is armed."

   Wherefore if one carries about with him a dangerous weapon, not fully exposed to view, he violates the law; he must carry it so any one meeting him can make no mistake about his being with a weapon.

   I charge you particularly, gentlemen, if the sheriff or any of his deputies, or any constable, policeman or town marshall carry about him any weapon concealed, except in the actual discharge of his official duties, he violates the law; and the violation is graver than if committed by the ordinary citizen, for they are officers whose duty it is to see that the law is observed and not violated.

   The Sheriff, his deputy, policeman and constables are considered in the actual discharge of their official duties, as contemplated in this section, only when they are actually engaged in the service of some process to which resistance might be suspected or offered, and a weapon might be required by such officers to enforce the law; for instance; the arrest or conveying of a prisoner, the attachment of a person and the seizure of property and the fact that such officer has a warrant for the arrest of a person in one pocket is not a permit for him to carry a pistol concealed in another. The exemption is good only when he is bona fide in the actual discharge of some duty as above set out.

[The Meridional, Abbeville, Louisiana, Saturday, December 2, 1905. Volume 49 Number 48 Pg. 2]

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