I wonder what happened that caused this ban of toy pistols on Christmas Day?
TOY PISTOLS WERE BANNED ON CHRISTMAS DAY IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA
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,
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.