Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Paper

Clayton E. Cramer

College of Western Idaho

Joseph Olson

Hamline University - School of Law

April 1, 2015


This Article seeks to answer what may seem a silly question: How widespread were private party transfers (both sales and lending) and commercial sales of firearms in the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment periods of American history. In U.S. v. Hosford (D.Md. 2015), the decision held: “Neither party has attempted to provide comprehensive evidence of the state of the law at the time of ratification concerning the commercial sale of firearms.” This paper provides such evidence. There was a thriving trade in arms of all types, especially firearms, no restrictions on the general (commercial and private) transfer of arms, and few on the transfer of particular items (e.g., bowie knives) or to particular persons (e.g., negros).

This is still a draft, so suggestions, corrections, gratefully accepted.

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