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(bracketed, bolded comment added by me, all other emphases mine)
The term ["arms"] was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity. For instance, Cunningham’s legal dictionary gave as an example of usage: “Servants and labourers shall use bows and arrows on Sundays, &c. and not bear other arms.” See also, e.g., An Act for the trial of Negroes, 1797 Del. Laws ch. XLIII, §6, p. 104, in 1 First Laws of the State of Delaware 102, 104 (J. Cushing ed. 1981 (pt. 1)); see generally State v. Duke, 42Tex. 455, 458 (1874) (citing decisions of state courts construing “arms”). Although one founding-era thesaurus limited “arms” (as opposed to “weapons”) to “instruments of offence generally made use of in war,” even that source stated that all firearms constituted “arms.” 1 J. Trusler, The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous in the English Language37 (1794) (emphasis added).
Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment . We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997) , and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001) , the Second Amendment extends, prima facie,to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.
Organ Guns (or War Carts) were primitive, yet effective, multi-chambered and multi-barreled monstrosities. As early as 1339, a firearm called the Ribauld, or Ribauldequin, was mentioned as a having several iron tubes that were arranged to fire stone projectiles simultaneously.
In 1382, the army at Ghent had 200 battery guns. A design constructed in 1387 had 144 barrels grouped in batteries of twelve allowing twelve salvos of twelve balls each to be fired. In 1411, the Burgundian army had 2,000 battery guns at their disposal. Louis XII (1498-1515) is reported to have used a gun having 50 barrels arranged to be fired in a single volley.
In 1717, James Puckle demonstrated his gun, called the Defense, to the English Board of Ordnance and a patent, number 418, was granted in London on May 15, 1718, on a single barreled gun with a revolver-like mechanism that allowed a semblance of rapid fire operation. In a demonstration in 1722, Puckle’s gun fired 63 shots in seven minutes; a truly remarkable performance at this time period.
originally posted by: introvert
What about criminals that have been convicted of crimes that involve firearms?