Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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 When New York was defending itself from Bruen, they cited some of the Test Acts, which disarmed Tories during the Revolution.  So far, I am finding citations to the wrong chapter and page numbers.  The text is often right, but taken out of context.  I suspect these are coming from the father of lies, the Duke University Repository of Firearms Laws, which on rare occasions cites laws accurately.  If any of you want to search for these laws there, and tell me if you find them there. it would speed up this process:

In the Revolutionary era, colonies frequently disarmed individuals based on their reputation for being disloyal or hostile to the new American nation. Massachusetts, for instance, had a law “disarming such person as are notoriously disaffected to the cause of America.” Act of March 14, 1776, in 1775-1776 Mass. Acts & Laws 31, TD Ex. 11. Once an individual had been deemed disaffected to the cause of America, he could often only regain his right to bear arms by appearing in person before an official to swear an oath of loyalty. In a Pennsylvania law passed in 1776, all white male inhabitants were required to appear “before some one of the justices of the peace of the city or county where they shall respectively inhabit” to take a prescribed oath of allegiance, and if they failed to do so, they were “disarmed by the lieutenant or sublieutenants of the city or counties respectively.” 1776-1777 Pa. Laws ch. XXI, §§ 1, 4, at 61-63, TD. Ex. 12. Other colonies adopted similar provisions. See An Act for the Better Security of the Government, 1777 Md. Laws Ch. XX, TD Ex. 13; An Act to Amend An Act for Declaring What Crimes and Practices Against the State Shall Be Treason, . . . and for Preventing the Dangers Which May Arise From Persons Disaffected to the State, 1777 N.C. Laws 228, TD Ex. 14; An Act to Oblige the Free Male Inhabitants of this State Above a Certain Age to Give Assurances of Allegiance to the Same (1777), in 9 William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large, Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia 281, 281-82 (1821), TD Ex. 15. In New York, if an individual refused to sign a loyalty oath, his arms were taken and redistributed to the colony’s militia. Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New York, 1775-1776-1777, at 389 (1842), TD Ex. 16

Thanks to all who have been looking these up for me.  I know that many are not what New York claims.  The question is, did these often incorrect citations appear in the Duke Trash Repository linked above?

1 comment:

  1. I am trying to remember a book I read probably 15 years ago (The Glorious Cause" maybe) where this is mentioned and I seem to recall it did not survive. I want to say it was taken out by a judge... but I can't be 100% sure.