Duke Center for Firearms Law
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Repository of Historical Gun Laws

Jurisdiction: Pennsylvania

Laws of the City of Johnstown, Pa., Embracing City Charter, Act of Assembly of May 23, 1889, for the Government of Cities of the Third Class, General and Special Ordinances, Rules of Select and Common Councils and Joint Sessions Page 84, Image 84 (1897) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

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General Ordinances [of Johnstown, PA]; General Ordinance No. 2, An Ordinance Providing for the Security of Persons and Property of the Inhabitants of the City of Johnstown; the Preservation of the Public Peace and Good Order of the City, and Prescribin...

General Ordinances [of Johnstown, PA]; General Ordinance No. 2, An Ordinance Providing for the Security of Persons and Property of the Inhabitants of the City of Johnstown; the Preservation of the Public Peace and Good Order of the City, and Prescribing Penalties for Offenses Against the Same, § 2. Any person who shall on any public street, alley, square, or public grounds, within the limits of the city, willfully discharge any gun or firearm – excepting in necessary defense of self or property – or shall wantonly throw any metal, stone, brick, bullet, or other missile, or who shall willfully explode any torpedo, bomb, fire-cracker, or fire-works in any place on either public or private grounds, or on the street corners or alleys, shall upon conviction pay a fine of not less than one dollar or more than fifty dollars with costs.

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Ordinances of the Borough of Shamokin, Pa. Page 71-72, Image 78-79 (1896) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

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Ordinances of the Borough of Shamokin, PA, An Ordinance Regulating the Storage of Coal, Oil, Benzene and Other Inflammable Oils and Regulating the Hauling and Storage of Gun Powder and other Explosives in the Borough of Shamokin, § 3. That no pers...

Ordinances of the Borough of Shamokin, PA, An Ordinance Regulating the Storage of Coal, Oil, Benzene and Other Inflammable Oils and Regulating the Hauling and Storage of Gun Powder and other Explosives in the Borough of Shamokin, § 3. That no person shall convey or cause to be conveyed through any of the streets, lanes or alleys of the Borough in any cart, wagon or other vehicle, at any one time, any greater quantity of gun powder, blasting powder, or other explosives than twenty five pounds without a sheet of canvass under, around and over the same sufficient to prevent it from being scattered from the said cart, wagon or vehicle, or being ignited by sparks or otherwise under the penalty of forfeiture of the said gun powder, blasting powder or other explosive, and for every such offense the person so offending upon conviction thereof before the Chief Burgess or any Justice of the Peace within the Borough shall pay a fine of not less than One Dollar nor more than Ten Dollars to be collected as penalties of like amount are not by law collectible. § 4. No person or persons, firm or corporation, shall keep, in any house, store, cellar, shop, shed, yard or other place within the borough a greater quantity of gun powder, blasting powder or other explosive at any one time than two kegs thereof under a penalty of not less than One Dollar nor more than Ten Dollars for every keg of powder or other explosive so kept over and above two kegs as above mentioned except in stone buildings erected for that purpose not less than two hundred yards from any other building or public road.

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Annual Message of the Mayor and Annual Reports of the City Controller, Commissioners of the Water and Lighting Department, City Engineer, Building Inspector, Sanitary Committee, Chief of Police, Superintendent of the fire and Police Alarm Telegraph, Chief Engineer of the Fire Department and Ordinances Passed and approved During the Session of 1895, of the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania., for the Year 1895 Page 180, Image 190 (Vol. 2, 1897) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources

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Ordinances of Harrisburg, PA: An Ordinance Prohibiting the use of bow guns, air guns, cattys and sling shots, the playing of shinny or golf in the city of Harrisburg. § 1. Be it ordained by the Select and Common Councils of the city of Harrisburg,...

Ordinances of Harrisburg, PA: An Ordinance Prohibiting the use of bow guns, air guns, cattys and sling shots, the playing of shinny or golf in the city of Harrisburg. § 1. Be it ordained by the Select and Common Councils of the city of Harrisburg, and it is hereby ordained by authority of the same, That any person who shall discharge any bow guns, air guns, sling shots, or play the game of catty, shinny or golf or any device dangerous to person or property, shall upon conviction thereof before the mayor or any alderman be fined not less than two nor more than twenty dollars, and in default of payment thereof be imprisoned not exceeding five days. § 3. That any person or persons found in possession of any bow gun, air gun, sling shot, or any device the use of which is dangerous to person or property, shall upon conviction thereof, before the mayor or any alderman, be subject to the same penalty as though discovered in the act of using the same.

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Ordinances of Tyrone Borough, Pennsylvania Page 35, Image 41 (1893) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

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[Ordinances of Tyrone, PA,] Ordinance No. 51, Fire Arms, § 1. That from and after the passage of this Ordinance it shall be unlawful for any person to discharge any gun, pistol, or other fire arm (in or upon any of the streets or alleys) within th...

[Ordinances of Tyrone, PA,] Ordinance No. 51, Fire Arms, § 1. That from and after the passage of this Ordinance it shall be unlawful for any person to discharge any gun, pistol, or other fire arm (in or upon any of the streets or alleys) within the limits of the borough of Tyrone. §2. Any person violating the provisions of this Ordinance, shall, upon conviction before the Burgess, be subject to a fine of not less than one ($1) dollar nor more than fifty ($50) dollars at the discretion of the Burgess, and in default of payment thereof be confined in the lock-up not exceeding forty-eight (48) hours.

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A Revised Edition of Acts of Assembly and Ordinances Relating to the Borough of Gettysburg, Together with a Brief History of the Town from Its Foundation to the Present Time, 1887. Revised Edition Page 62-63, Image 63-64 (1887) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

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Ordinances of the City of Gettysburg, Keeping Powder or Gun Cotton for Sale, § 9. That no person shall keep or have in their possession or cause to be kept within said borough, rock or gun powder, gun or explosive cotton, or other combustible matt...

Ordinances of the City of Gettysburg, Keeping Powder or Gun Cotton for Sale, § 9. That no person shall keep or have in their possession or cause to be kept within said borough, rock or gun powder, gun or explosive cotton, or other combustible matter likely to prove dangerous, unless the same is preserved carefully and without danger to the citizens in a safe magazine constructed and used solely for that purpose and at a distance of at least 500 feet from any dwelling, and the person offending against this section shall, upon conviction before the burgess or any Justice of the Peace, pay a fine and penalty of twenty dollars. To be collected as all such fines are now by law collectible.

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John Purdon, A Digest of the Laws of Pennsylvania: From the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred to the Sixth Day of July, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-Three.11th Edition Page 423-424, Image 472-473 (Vol. 1, 1885) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

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Crimes, Carrying and Sale of Explosives, § 113. Any person who shall knowingly and willfully sell or cause to be sold to any person under sixteen years of age, any cannon, revolver, pistol or other such deadly weapon, or who shall knowingly and wi...

Crimes, Carrying and Sale of Explosives, § 113. Any person who shall knowingly and willfully sell or cause to be sold to any person under sixteen years of age, any cannon, revolver, pistol or other such deadly weapon, or who shall knowingly and willfully sell, or cause to be sold, to any such minor, any imitation or toy cannon, revolver or pistol so made, constructed or arranged as to be capable of being loaded with gunpowder or other explosive substance, cartridges, shot, slugs or balls and being exploded, fired off and discharged, and thereby become a dangerous or deadly weapon, or who shall knowingly and willfully sell, or cause to be sold to any such minor, any cartridge, gunpowder or other dangerous and explosive substance, shall in every such case, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars.

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Act of June 10, 1881, § 1

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makes any person, “who shall knowingly and willfully sell or cause to be sold, to any person under sixteen years of age, any cannon, revolver, pistol or other such deadly weapon, ... shall, in every such case, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon...

makes any person, “who shall knowingly and willfully sell or cause to be sold, to any person under sixteen years of age, any cannon, revolver, pistol or other such deadly weapon, … shall, in every such case, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars.”

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1876 Pa. Laws 105, An Act To Amend And Consolidate The Several Acts Relating To Game And Game Fish, § 4

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No person shall, at any time, kill any wild duck or goose with any device or instrument known as a swivel or punt gun, or with any gun other than such guns as habitually are raised at arm’s length and fired from the shoulder or shall use any net,...

No person shall, at any time, kill any wild duck or goose with any device or instrument known as a swivel or punt gun, or with any gun other than such guns as habitually are raised at arm’s length and fired from the shoulder or shall use any net, device, instrument, or gun other than such gun as aforesaid, with intent to capture or kill any such wild duck or goose, under a penalty of ten dollars.

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John Purdon A Digest of the Laws of Pennsylvania, from the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred to the Sixth Day of June, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-Three. 11th Edition Vol. 2 Page 1451, Image 453 (Philadelphia, 1885) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

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Railroads. Inclined-Plane Railways. § 194. If any person shall break, pull down or destroy any part or parts of said inclined plane, or other property of the said corporation, or shall willfully obstruct the passage in or to said inclined plane, o...

Railroads. Inclined-Plane Railways. § 194. If any person shall break, pull down or destroy any part or parts of said inclined plane, or other property of the said corporation, or shall willfully obstruct the passage in or to said inclined plane, or any part or parts thereof, each such person shall forfeit and pay to the said corporation the sum of ten dollars for each and every such offence, to be recovered as other debts of a like amount are recoverable; and if any person shall be guilty of carrying a lighted cigar or pipe, or carrying fire into the station-houses and buildings of the corporation, in any manner except in a lantern, or shall discharge any pistol or gun, or any fire-works in or near the building of the said company; each one so offending shall forfeit and pay the said corporation the sum of five dollars for every such offence, to be recovered in like manner as aforesaid; but no suit shall be brought for any of the aforesaid offences unless commenced within thirty days after it shall be known who committed said offences; and he, she or they shall remain liable to action at the suit of the corporation for any of the wrongs enumerated in this clause, if the sums herein mentioned be not sufficient to repair or satisfy the damage.

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Frederick Charles Brightly, Brightly’s Annual Digest for 1873 to 1878. Annual Digest of the Laws of Pennsylvania for the Years 1873 to 1878 Together with Some laws of Older Date Inadvertently Omitted in Purdon’s Digest Completing Brightly Purdon’s Digest to the Present Date Page 1835, Image 65 (1878) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

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[Digested Laws 1873-78,] Common Carriers, 1. Carriers of explosive materials regulated. Penalties. 2. Power to open packages. Removal and sale. § 1. If any person shall knowingly deliver, or cause to be delivered to any canal, railroad, steamboat ...

[Digested Laws 1873-78,] Common Carriers, 1. Carriers of explosive materials regulated. Penalties. 2. Power to open packages. Removal and sale. § 1. If any person shall knowingly deliver, or cause to be delivered to any canal, railroad, steamboat or other transportation company, or to any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of transportation, any nitro-glycerine, dualin, dynamite, gunpowder, mining or blasting powder, gun-cotton, phosphorus, or other explosive material adapted for blasting, or for any other purpose for which the articles before mentioned, or any of them, may be used, under any false or deceptive invoice or description, or without informing such person, firm or corporation, in writing, at or before the time when such delivery is made, of the true nature of such, and without having the keg, barrel, can or package containing the same plainly marked with the name of the explosive material therein contained, together with the word “dangerous” article, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to imprisonment for thirty days, and to pay a fine of one hundred dollars; and shall be responsible for all damages to persons or property, directly or indirectly resulting from the explosion or combustion of any such article. § 2. It shall and may be lawful for any officer or agent of any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of transportation, upon affidavit made of the fact that any package tendered for transportation, not in compliance with the provisions of the first section hereof, is believed to contain explosive material such as aforesaid, to require such package to be opened, and to refuse to receive any such package unless such requirement be complied with; and if such package be opened, and found to contain any explosive material, the said package and its contents shall be forthwith removed to any lawful place for the storing of gunpowder; and after conviction of the offender, or after three months from such removal, the said package, with its contents, shall be sold at public sale, after the expiration of ten days from notice of the time and place of such sale, published in one newspaper in the county where such seizure shall have been made; and the proceeds of such sale, after deducting therefrom the expenses of removal, storage, advertisement and sale, shall be paid into the treasury of the said county.

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