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An Act for the Better Security of the Inhabitants by Obliging the Male White Persons to Carry Fire Arms to Places of Public Worship, 1770, reprinted in 1775-1770 Georgia Colonial Laws 471 (1932).




Whereas it is necessary for the security and defence of this provicnce for internal dangers and insurrections that all persons resorting to places of public worship shall be obliged ot carry arms. 1. BE IT ENACTED, That immediately from and after the passing of this act, every male white inhabitant of this province (the inhabitants of the sea port towns only excepted who shall not be obliged to carry any other than side arms) who is or shall be liable to bear arms in the milita either at common musters or times of alarm, and resorting, on any Sunday or other times, to any church, or other place of divine worship within within the parish where such person shall reside, shall carry with him a gun, or a pair of pistols, in good order and fit for service, with at least six charges of gun powderand ball, and shall take the said gun or pistols with him to the pew or seat, where such person shall sit, remain, or be, within or about the said church or place of worship, under the penalty of ten shillings for every neglect of the same to be recovered by warrant of distress and sale of the offenders goods, under the hand and seal of any justice of the peace for the parish where such offence is committed, one half to be paid into the hands of the church wardens, or where there is no church wardens, to any justice for the use of the poor of the said parish, and the other half ot him or them that shall give information thereof. 2. And for the better and more effectual carrying this act into execution, BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That the church warden or church wardens of each respective parish,and the deacons, elders, or select men, of other places or public worship, shall be obliged, and they are hereby empowered to examine all such male persons, either in or about such places of public worship, at any time after the congregation is assembled, on Christmas and Easter days, and at least tweleve other times in every year, and if, upon finding any person or persons liable to bear arms and being then to places of worship as aforesaid, without the arms and ammuntion by this act directed, and shall not, within fifteen days after such offence is committed, inform against such person so offending, in order to recover the penalty as aforesaid, said church warden or church wardens, deacons, elders or select men, shall, for every such neglect of duty, or giving information as aforesaid, forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds to be recovered and applied as in this act is before directed. 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That any such person or persons thus liable to bring their arms, and being at any church or place of public worship as aforesaid, that shall refuse to be examined in or about such places of public worship, or neglect, on demand of the church warden or church wardens, deacons, elders, or select men respectively, to produce and show his or their arms and ammunition by this act required to be brought by such persons, to the intent it may be known whether the same be fit for immediate use and service, such person or persons so refusing or neglecting shall severally, and for every such offence, forfeit the sum of ten shillings, to be recovered and applied in such manner as the penalty for not bringing such arms in and by this act directed. 4. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this act shal lbe and continue in force for and during the term of three years, and from thence to the end of the next session of the General Assembly, and no longer.