Ten laws requiring individuals to have and carry arms, no longer valid by Dec. 15, 1791

The 10 17th and 18th century arms laws below required the carrying of weapons for non-militia or non-military purposes. These laws were no longer valid for a variety of reasons by the time the Second (and nine other Amendments) were ratified on Dec. 15, 1791.

1.       “It is enacted by the Court that every person both for him self and every man servant he keepeth able to bear arms have a piece powder … a sufficient muskett or other serviceable piece for war with bandaleers sword and other appurtenances; and that for himself and every such person under him be at all times furnished with one pound of powder and four pound of bullets with foure fathom of match for every matchcocke muskett…”

Edited by Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, David Pulsifer, Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England: Laws, 1623-1682, Page 181

2.       “Further, it is ordered, that every toune [town] within this pattent shall, before the 5th of Aprill nexte, take espetiall care that every person within their toune, (except magistrates and ministers), as well servants as others, [be] furnished with good and sufficient armes allowable by the captain or other officers, those that want and are of abilitie to buy them themselves, others that are unable to have them provided by the toune, for the present, and after to receive satisfaction for that they disburse when they shalbe able.”

Edited by Willis Mason West, “March 22/April 1, 1630/1631,” Massachusetts Bay law, A Source Book in American History to 1787, page 184

3.       “NOE man shall goe to worke in the grounds without theire armes, and a centinell uppon them.

“LAWS OF VIRGINIA, FEBRUARY, 1631-2 – 7th CHARLES 1st, ACT XLVIII,” VAgenweb.org

4.       “Further, it is ordered, that noe [person] shall travell single betwixte theis plantations and Plymouthe, nor without some armes, though 2 or 3 togeathr.”

“A Court of Assistants, holden att Boston, April 12, 1631,” The Records of the Colony of The Massachusetts Bay in New England, Page 85

5.       “Noe man shall goe or send abroade without a sufficient party well armed.”

Act XLVII, February 1631-2, Statutes at Large; … A collection of all the Laws of Virginia, Vol. I, By William Waller Hening, page 127

6.       “All men that are fitting to beare armes, shall bringe their pieces to church uppon payne for every effence, if the default be in the mster, to pay 2lb. of tobacco . . .”

Act XLV, September 1632, Statutes at Large; … A collection of all the Laws of Virginia, Vol. I, By William Waller Hening, page 198

7.       “It is ordered, that noe man shall go two miles from the Towne unarmed, eyther with Gunn or Sword; and that none shall come to any public Meeting without his weapon. Upon the default of eyther he shall forfeitt five shillings.”

Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, John Russell Bartlett, editor, Vol. I, 1636 to 1663, page 94

8.       “It is ordered, and by this court declared, That all persons that are above the age of sixteene years, except magistrates and church officers, shall bear arms, unless they have, uppon just occasion, exemption graunted by the court; and every male person within the jurissdiction, above the said age, shall have in continuall readines, a good muskitt or other gunn, fitt for service … and if any person who is to provide armes or ammunition, cannot purchase them by such means …  shall bring to the clark so much corne or other merchantable goods … the clark shall indeavor to furnish him so soon as may bee, by sale of such goods so deposited … But if any person shall not bee able to provide himselfe armes or ammunition through meere poverty, if hee bee single, hee shall bee put to service by some magistrate, and the constable shall appoint him armes and ammunition, and shall appointe him where, and whome to earn out.”

“Code of 1650: Military Affaires” The Code of 1650: Being a Compilation of the Earliest Laws and Orders of the General Court of Connecticut … 1638-9, Page 70

9.        “That during the time of publicke danger everyone that comes to the meeting on the Lords day bring his Armes with him and furnished with att least six charges of powder and shott untill further order shall be given…”

“Meetinghouse in Each Towne,” The Compact with the Charter and Laws of the Colony of New Plymouth, Part II, 1675, page 176

10.    “Whereas it is necessary for the security and defence of this province from internal dangers and insurrections, that all persons resorting to places of public worship shall be obliged to carry fire arms.”

Preamble “An act for the better security of the inhabitants by obliging the male white persons to carry fire arms to places of public worship,” February 27, 1770, The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol XIX Part I, Statutes, Colonial and Revolutionary, 1768 to 1773, page 137

*Date order, oldest first