SEC. 4. Be it enacted, That if any person shall presume to discharge or fire, or cause to be discharged or fired, any gun or other fire-arms at any mark or object, or upon any pretence whatever, unless he or she shall at the same time be with such gun or fire-arms at the distance of at least one-quarter of a mile from the nearest building of any such city, town, village or station, such person shall for every such offence, forfeit and pay to the use of the county in which the same shall be committed, a sum not exceeding five dollars, not less than one dollar. And if any person being with a quarter of a mile of any city, town, village or station as aforesaid, shall at the same time wilfully discharge or fire any gun or fire-arms, or cause or procure the same to be discharged or fired, at any time after the setting of the sun and before the rising of the same, he or she so offending, shall in like manner forfeit and pay to the use aforesaid, a sum not exceeding five dollars, nor less than one dollar; reserving nevertheless to any person who will inform, and sue for either of the penalties hereinbefore last mentioned within one month from the commission of the offence, a moiety of the penalty which the party offending shall on conviction be adjudged to forfeit and pay, the other moiety thereof to go to the use of the county as aforesaid; which said several penalties, or either of them, shall be recoverable with costs, before any justice, judge, or court having cognizance of the same.
Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be deemed or construed to extend to any person lawfully using fire-arms as offensive or defensive weapons, in annoying, or opposing a common enemy, or defending his or her person or property, or the person or property of any other, against the invasion or depredations of an enemy, or in the support of the laws and government; or against the attacks of rebels, highwaymen, robbers, thieves, or others unlawfully assailing him or her, or in any other manner where such opposition, defence, or resistance is allowed by the law of the land.
Provided also, That nothing herein contained shall be construed or extend to prevent the necessary military exercise, evolutions and firings of, or the discharging of cannon or small arms, by any soldiers or troops in the service of the United States, or of this territory, being in the field, or posted in or near any city, town, village, station, garrison, fort, encampment or other place, and acting under the immediate orders or by the special direction of the officer commanding the same. Nor shall any thing herein contained by intended or construed to extend to the act of killing or destroying birds of prey, or other wild birds, and mad or wild animals of the brute kind lurking among, in or near, or preying upon or threatening to prey upon and devour any kind of animal stock, or the corn, grain, and other produce in, of or belonging to any plantation, field, garden or other place within, adjoining, or in the vicinity of any city, town, village, or station: nor to the hindrance of any person shooting at or killing any of the larger kind of game or wild animals, such as buffaloes, bears, deer, hares, rabbits, turkeys, swans, geese that may happen at any time to come in view, or be passing or feeding near any city, or, or other place as aforesaid: but every person shooting at any of such game is hereby required to discharge the ball, or balls, shot, or missile weapon so employed in a direction from such city, town, village, or station towards the country so as such ball or balls, missile weapon, or shot, shall pass by or from, and go clear of the buildings pertaining to the same.