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1783 Mass. Acts 37, An Act in Addition to the Several Acts Already Made for the Prudent Storage of Gun Powder within the Town of Boston, § 2

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“That all cannon, swivels, mortars, howitzers, cohorns, fire arms, bombs, grenades, and iron shells of any kind, that shall be found in any dwelling-house, out-house, stable, barn, store, ware-house, shop, or other building, charged with, or having in them any gun-powder, shall be liable to be seized by either of the Firewards of the said Town: And upon complaint made by the said Firewards to the Court of Common Pleas, of such cannon, swivels, mortar, or howitzers, being so found, the Court shall proceed to try the merits of such complaint by a jury; and if the jury shall find such complaint supported, such cannon, swivel, mortar, or howitzer, shall be adjudged forfeit, and be sold at public auction.