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Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, from the Fourteenth Day of October, One Thousand Seven Hundred, to the Twentieth Day of March, One Thousand 293Eight Hundred and Ten Page 421-422, Image 480-481 (Vol. 1, 1810) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.



An act to suppress the disorderly practice of firing guns, etc. on the times therein mentioned. § 1. Whereas a disorderly practice prevails in many parts of this province, of firing guns at or near new-year’s-day, which is frequently attended with much mischief, and greatly disturbs the public peace: for remedy whereof for the future, Be it enacted, That if, after the publication of this act, any person or persons shall, on any thirty-first day of December, or first or second day of January, in every year, wantonly, and without reasonable occasion, discharge and fire off any hand gun, pistol or other fire arms, or shall cast, throw, or fire any squibs, rockets, or other fire works, within the inhabited parts of this province, to the disturbance of any of his majesty’s subjects there inhabiting and being, every such person so offending, and being thereof convicted before any one Justice of the Peace of the county, or Mayor or other head officer, a Justice of the Peace of any city or town corporate, where such offence shall be committed, either by confession of the party so offending, or the oath or affirmation of one or more credible witnesses (which oath or affirmation the said Justice or other officer aforesaid is hereby empowered and required to administer) shall for every such offence forfeit, for the use of the poor of the township or district where such offender lives, the sum of ten shillings, to be levied by distress and sale of the offenders goods and chattels, by warrant, under the hand and seal of the Justice or other officer before whom such offenders shall be convicted, returning the overplus, if any, to the owner, the reasonable charge of destraining being first deducted; and for want of such distress, such offender shall be committed to prison for the space of five days, without bail or main-prize. § 2. And by it further enacted, That if any person or persons, after the publication of this act, shall willingly permit or suffer, within the time aforesaid, any person or persons to discharge or fire off, at his or her house, any hand-gun, pistol, or other fire-arms, or to cast, throw or fire any squibs, rockets, or other fire works, as aforesaid every person so as aforesaid offending, and being thereof convicted in manner aforesaid, shall for every such offence forfeit and pay for the use aforesaid, the sum of twenty shillings, to be recovered in manner aforesaid.