An Act to prevent the unlawful training of persons to the use of arms, and the practise of Military evolutions ; and to authorize Justices of the Peace to seize and detain arms collected or kept for purposes dangerous to the public peace

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31 Victoria, c. 15
An Act to prevent the unlawful training of persons to the use of arms, and the practise of Military evolutions ; and to authorize Justices of the Peace to seize and detain arms collected or kept for purposes dangerous to the public peace
Source: Early Canada Online

Contents[edit]

An Act to prevent the unlawful training of persons to the use of arms, and the practise of Military evolutions ; and to authorize Justices of the Peace to seize and detain arms collected or kept for purposes dangerous to the public peace.

Preamble.
1. Meetings for drill, &c., with out lawful nuthority prohibited.
Punishment of persons acting as instructors at such meetings.
And of persons receiving instruction.
2. Such meetings may be dispersed and persons attending them arrested, and committed for trial if not bailed.
3. Arms or ammunition kept for any unlawful purpose may be seized and detained.
And the person having them may be arrested.
How dealt with.
4. Claims for restitution of such arms, &c., how to be decided upon.
5. Persons carrying arms for unlawful purposes may be arrested and committed and tried for misdeameanor.
May be bailed.
6. All Justices of the Peace to have concurrent jurisdiction under this Act.
7. Provision for protection of Justices and others acting under this Act.
Double costs against plaintiff failing in his suit.
8. This act may be suspended and again brought into force.
9. Limitation of prosecutions.




31 Victoria, c. 15 (Canada)


An Act to prevent the unlawful training of persons to the use of arms, and the practise of Military evolutions ; and to authorize Justices of the Peace to seize and detain arms collected or kept for purposes dangerous to the public peace


[Assented to 21st December, 1867.]


HER Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows :
Meetings for drill, &c., with out lawful nuthority prohibited
1. All meetings and assemblies of persons for the purpose of training or drilling themselves, or of being trained or drilled to the use of arms, or for the purpose of practising Military exercises, movements or evolutions, without lawful authority for so doing, shall be and are hereby prohibited, and declared unlawful, as dangerous to the peace and security of Her Majesty's liege subjects, and of Canada;
Punishment of persons acting as instructors at such meetings
and every person who shall be present at or shall attend any such meeting or assembling for the purpose of training any other person or persons to the use of arms or to the practice of military exercises, movements or evolutions, or who, without lawful authority for so doing, shall train or drill any other person or persons to the use of arms, or to the practice of military exercises, movements or evolutions, or who shall aid or assist therein, being legally convicted thereof shall be liable to be imprisoned in a Provincial Penitentiary for the term of two years, or to be punished by fine and imprisonment in any of the common jails of any of the Provinces of Canada for a period not less than two years, in the discretion of the Courtin which such conviction shall be had ;
And of persons receiving instruction
and every person who shall attend or be present at any such meeting or assembly, for the purpose of being or who shall at any such meeting or assembly be trained or drilled to the use of arms, or the practice of military exercises, movements or evolutions, being legally convicted thereof shall be liable to be punished by fine and imprisonment not exceeding two years, in the discretion of the Court before which such conviction shall be had.
Such meetings may be dispersed and persons attending them arrested, and committed for trial if not bailed
2. It shall be lawful for any Justice of the Peace, or for any Constable or Peace Officer, or for any person acting in their aid or assistance, to disperse any such unlawful meeting or assembly as aforesaid, and to arrest and detain any person present at or aiding, assisting or abetting any such assembly or meeting as aforesaid ; and it shall be lawful for the Justice of the Peace who shall arrest any such person or before whom any person so arrested shall be brought, to commit such person for trial for such offence under the provisions of this Act, unless such person can and shall give bail for his appearance at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer and general jail delivery, if in either of the Provinces of Ontario, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, or at the next term or sitting of the Court of Queen's Bench in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction, if in the Province of Quebec, to answer to any indictment which may be preferred against him for any such offence against this Act.
Arms or ammunition kept for any unlawful purpose may be seized and detained
3. It shall be lawful for any Justice of the Peace, upon information on oath of one or more credible witness or witnesses, that any pike, pike head, spear, dirk, dagger, sword, pistol, gun, rifle or other weapon, gunpowder, lead, cartridges, bullets or other ammunition or munitions of war, are for any purpose dangerous to the public peace, in the possession of any person, or in any house or place, to issue his warrant to any Constable or other Peace Officer, to search for and seize any such pike, pike head, spear, dirk, dagger, sword, pistol, gun, rifle or other weapon, gunpowder, lead, cartridges, bullets or other ammunition or munitions of war, being in the possession of any such person, or in any such house or place as aforesaid, and to arrest any person having such possession as aforesaid ; and in case admission into such house or place be refused, or not obtained within a reasonable time after it shall have been first demanded, to enter by force, by day or by night, into every such house or place whatsoever,
And the person having them may be arrested
and to detain or cause to be detained such person, and to keep in safe custody, in such place as the said Justice shall appoint and direct, the arms and weapons, ammunition or munitions of war, so found or seized as aforesaid, unless the owner thereof shall prove, to the satisfaction of such Justice, that such arms or weapons, ammunition or munitions of war, were not kept for any purpose dangerous to the public peace ;
How dealt with
and any such person having the possession or custody of any such arms, weapons, ammunition or munitions of war, and being so arrested, shall be brought before any Justice of the Peace, and may be dealt with, tried and punished in the same manner as is provided for persons arrested and tried under the fifth section of this Act.
Claims for restitution of such arms, &c., how to be decided upon
4. Provided always, that it shall he lawful for any person from whom any such arms or weapons, ammunition or munitions of war, shall be so taken as last aforesaid, in case the justice of the peace upon whose warrant the same shall have been taken, upon application made for that purpose, refuse to restore the same, to apply to the next General or Quarter Sessions of the peace, or in the Province of Quebec, in any district in which no such Court may then be held, to any Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench or of the Superior Court, upon giving ten days previous notice of such application to such justice for the restitution Of such arms or weapons, or any part thereof, and the justices assembled at such General Quarter Sessions o the peace, or such Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench or of the Superior Court, shall make such order for the restitution or safe custody of such arms or weapons, or any part thereof, as upon such application shall appear to them or him to be proper.
Persons carrying arms for unlawful purposes may be arrested and committed and tried for misdeameanor
5. It shall be lawful for any Justice of the Peace, or for any Constable, Peace Officer or other person acting under the Warrant of any Justice of the Peace, or for any person acting with or in aid of any Justice of the Peace, or of any Constable or other Peace Officer, having such warrant as aforesaid, to arrest and detain any person found carrying any such arms, or wea- pons as aforesaid, in such manner and at such times as, in the judgment of such Justice of the Peace, to afford just grounds of suspicion that the same are for purposes dangerous to the Public Peace ; and it shall be lawful for the Justice who shall arrest any such person, or before whom any person arrested upon any such warrant shall be brought, to commit such person for trial for a misdemeanor ; and such person shall be liable to be tried for a misdemeanor for carrying such arms or weapons aforesaid, and on conviction shall be punished by fine or imprisonment or both in the discretion of the Court trying him for such offence ;
May be bailed
but any such person may before conviction give good and sufficient bail for this appearance at the next Assizes or General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, or in the Province of Quebec, in any District in which no Court of Quarter Sessions may then be held, at the next term of the Court of Queen's Bench in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction, to answer to any indictment which may be preferred against him.
All Justices of the Peace to have concurrent jurisdiction under this Act
6. All Justices of the Peace in and for any District, County, City, Town or place, in Canada, shall have concurrent jurisdiction as Justices of the Peace, with the justices of any other District, County, City, Town or place, in all cases as to the carrying into execution the provisions of this Act, and as to all matters and things relating to the preservation of the public peace under this Act, as fully and effectually as if each of such justices was in the commission of the peace, or was ex officio a Justice of the Peace for each of such Districts, Counties, Cities, Towns or places.
Provision for protection of Justices and others acting under this Act
7. Any action or suit which shall he brought or commenced against any justice or justices of the peace, constable, peace officer or other person or persons for any thing done or acted in pursuance of this Act, shall be commenced within six calendar months next. after the fact committed, and not afterwards ; and the venue shall be laid in either of the Provinces of Ontario, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, and. the action or suit shall be brought in the Province of Quebec, in the proper comity, district or other judicial division, where the fact was committed, and not elsewhere ; and the defendant or defendants may plead the general issue and give this Act and the special matter in evidence in any trial to be had thereupon ; and if such action or suit be commenced or brought after the time hereby limited for bringing the same, or be brought or the venue laid in any other place than as aforesaid, then a verdict shall be found or judgment shall be given for the defendant or defendants ;
Double costs against plaintiff failing in his suit
and in such case if the plaintiffor plaintiffs become non-suit or discontinue his, her or their action after appearance, or if the jury find a verdict or the Court give judgment for the defendant or defendants on the merits, or if upon demurrer, judgment be given against the plaintiff or plaintiffs, the defendant or defendants shall have double costs, and may recover the same in such and the same manner as any defendant can by law in like cases.
This act may be suspended and again brought into force
8. The Governor in Council may, from time to time, by Proclamation, suspend the operation of this Act in any one of the Provinces of Canada or in any particular districts or district, counties, county or locality therein specified ; and from and after the period specified in any such Proclamation the powers given by this Act shall be suspended in such Province or in such districts or district, counties, county or locality ; but nothing herein contained shall prevent or be construed to prevent the Governor in Council from again declaring, by proclamation, that any such Province, districts or district, counties, county or locality shall be again subject to this Act and the powers hereby given, and upon such proclamation this Act shall be revived and in force accordingly.
Limitation of prosecutions
9. No person shall be prosecuted for any offence done or committed against the provisions of this Act, unless such prosecution be commenced within six calendar months after the offence committed.



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