Debate on The State Constitutional Provision

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by Malum Prohibitum, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    From the dissent in Strickland v. State, 137 Ga. 1 (1911), examining how the state consitutional provision was adopted and the debates surrounding its adoption:


    By reference to Small's Report (page 56), it will be seen that section 19 of the Bill of Rights was: "A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne." When this section was under consideration, as appears on page 91, it was referred to as section 23, and a motion was made which in effect struck "a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free people," for the reason that such a declaration had already been made in the section of the Bill of Rights on militia.

    After that amendment was carried, Mr. Toombs moved "to strike out all after the word 'infringe,' and strike out 'but the General Assembly shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne,' insisting that 'the Legislature has no power to prescribe how the people shall bear arms; that they shall not carry them in their boots, or anywhere else that they want to. I think the people have the right to keep and bear arms as they choose for their protection."'

    On the other hand, Mr. Warren urged: "I hope the gentleman's motion will not prevail. The experience of all of us is that the General Assembly should have the right to regulate the manner of keeping and bearing arms. There is nothing which provokes bloodshed so much as the indiscriminate bearing of concealed weapons." The motion to amend was lost.

    Other amendments which were offered, but not adopted, were: (a) By inserting the word "place" after the word "manner," so as to give the Legislature the power to prescribe where a man shall carry arms and where not; (b) "when off their freeholds or away from their homes." Thus it appears from the debates that the members of the convention who framed the provision as it appears in the Constitution of 1877 had in mind that "arms," as referred to in the clause as adopted, contemplated, not merely such arms of warfare as might be used by the militia, but especially small weapons which might be concealed about the person, which was in keeping with the interpretation theretofore placed on the word by the court.


    The emphasis is my own.

    :wink:

    p.s. - I also added paragraph breaks for easier reading. I guess paragraphs where not invented until later in the twentieth century . . .
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I wish Mr. Toombs had prevailed.

    With that having been said, it is very curious that an amendment to add "place" regulations, as a power of the General Assembly, was defeated!

    And our major problem today is with place restrictions!

    Oh, for judges who adhere to the text, and, where there is ambiguity, original intent!