Duke Center for Firearms Law
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1749-51 Mass. Acts 339, An Act For Preventing And Suppressing Of Riots, Routs And Unlawful Assemblies, chap. 12, § 1




If any persons to the number of twelve or more, being armed with clubs or other weapons. . . shall be unlawfully, riotously, or tumultuously assembled . . . (Read riot act, if don’t disperse) . . . It shall be lawful for every officer . . . to seize such persons, and carry them before a justice of the peace; and if such persons shall be killed or hurt by reason of their resisting . . . officers and their assistants shall be indemnified and held guiltless.