United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/5th Congress/1st Session/Chapter 2

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June 14, 1797
[Expired.]
Chap. Ⅱ.—An Act prohibiting, for a limited time, the Exportation of Arms and Ammunition, and for encouraging the Importation thereof.


Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,Exportation of cannon, &c. unlawful until March 3, 1798. That it shall not be lawful to export from the United States any cannon, muskets, pistols, bayonets, swords, cutlasses, musket-balls, lead, bombs, grenadoes, gunpowder, sulphur or saltpetre, but the exportation of all the aforesaid articles is hereby prohibited, until to the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer.

Vessels.Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That any of the aforesaid articles, excepting such of them as may constitute a part of the equipment of Vessels exporting the same to be forfeited.any vessel, which during the continuance of this prohibition shall be found on board of any vessel in any river, port, bay or harbour within the territory of the United States, put on board with an intent to be exported from the United States, shall be forfeited, and in case the value thereof shall amount to one hundred dollars, the vessel on board of which the same shall be seized, together with her tackle, apparel and furniture, shall also be forfeited. Provided nevertheless,Prohibition not to extend to removal of such articles from one part of the United States to another. that nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the removal or transportation of any of the articles aforesaid from one port to another port within the United States, in any vessel having a license as a coasting vessel, the master, agent or owner of which shall have given bond, with one or more sufficient sureties, to the collector of the district from which such vessel is about to depart, in a sum double the value of such vessel and of such of the said articles as may be laden on board her, that the said articles shall be re-landed and delivered in some port of the United States. Or to prevent the exportation of any of the above articles on public account, under the direction of the President of the United States.

Master of vessel shall be liable to indictment for violating this act.Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That if any of the articles aforesaid shall, contrary to the prohibitions of this act, be exported from the United States, the vessel in which the same shall have been exported, together with her tackle, apparel and furniture, shall be forfeited, and the captain or master of such vessel, knowingly offending in the premises, shall be liable to indictment, and upon conviction shall forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars; which shall be distributed in like manner as is herein after provided as to other forfeitures incurred under this act.

Duty of custom house officers herein.Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the custom-house officers, and of all persons employed in the collection of the revenue, to attend to the execution of this law, and all forfeitures and penalties incurred under it and not otherwise directed to be prosecuted and recovered, shall be sued for, prosecuted, adjudged and distributed in like manner as is provided in the act, entitled Ante, p. 145.An act to provide more effectually for the collection of the duties imposed by law on goods, wares and merchandise imported into the United States, and on the tonnage of ships and vessels.”

Such articles may be imported free of duty.Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all brass cannon, muskets and firelocks with bayonets suited to the same, pistols, swords, cutlasses, musket-ball, lead, and gunpowder, which shall be imported into the United States from any foreign country, within the term of one year, and all sulphur and saltpetre which shall be so imported within the term of two years from and after the passing of this act, shall be free of duty; any thing in any former law to the contrary notwithstanding.

Approved, June 14, 1797.