Days Gone By - stories from the past

Toy Pistols banned on Christmas Day in Montgomery, Alabama

I wonder what happened that caused this ban of toy pistols on Christmas Day?


TOY PISTOLS WERE BANNED ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

AN ORDINANCE

Print shows an 1880 Victorian trade card from a series of Christmas scenes with space for text advertising a particular product or service (Library of Congress)

(Transcribed from The Montgomery Daily Advertiser December 25, 1880)

To prevent the sale, gift or delivery to minors, and the use by them of certain kinds of pistols.

Whereas, The sale, gift or delivery to minors, of small pistols, commonly known as toy pistols, has become a serious evil, and the use of such pistols has already resulted in the injury of some schoolboys, and greatly endangered the lives and limbs of other young children.

Section 1. Therefore, be it ordained by the City Council of Montgomery, That it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, give or deliver to any minor, any small pistol, or any pistol known as a toy pistol, in which powder and ball can be used, or a metallic cartridge containing a leaden ball, can be exploded.

This toy pistol was probably the reason for the ordinance.(1880 Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office)1

Sec. 2. Be it further ordained, That any person violating the provisions of section one of this ordinance, shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $100, in the discretion of the Mayor or Alderman trying the case.

Sec. 3. Be it further ordained, that it shall be unlawful for any minor to have in his possession or use any pistol of any kind described in section one of this act, and any minor knowingly having in his possession any such pistol as described in section one of this ordinance, shall on conviction be fined not less than one nor more than one hundred dollars, in the discretion of the Mayor or Alderman trying the case.

Sec. 4. Be it further ordained, That this ordinance be published for ten days.

R. B. Snodgrass,

Clerk

1The description in the patent states that it was invented by JOHN H. ROSS, Norwalk, Conn, assignor of one-half of his right to Edward K. Lockwood, same place. Filed Apr. 3, 1880 (no model) Claim. 1. A toy pistol the stock of which is constructed with a transverse opening or cavity, F, extending entirely through the stock and opening on both sides thereof, and adapted to embrace and hold a removable cylindrical magazine within it, substantially as specified. 2. The combination, with a toy pistol the stock of which is constructed with an opening or cavity, F, extending entirely through the stock and opening both sides thereof, and a slot, g, leading from said opening or cavity, of the removable magazine E, closed at each end, and the ends of which constitute the ends of the opening or cavity F, embraced and held in said opening or cavity, and having a slot, I, opposite the slot, g, all substantially as specified.

TAPESTRY OF LOVE SERIES: Three Books in One

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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One comment

  1. Upon reading the article these “toy pistols” were not cap guns as we know them but small pistols that actually used powder and ball. No wonder they were banned. Obviously they were not to be fired towards others. Powerful enough to do injury. Tim Ryan

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