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Lack of Historical Restrictions on the Commercial and Private Transfer of Firearms in the United States

22 Pages Posted: 30 May 2015  

Clayton E. Cramer

College of Western Idaho

Joseph Edward Olson

Hamline University - School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2015

Abstract

This Article seeks to answer what may seem a silly question: How widespread were private party transfers (both sales and lending) and commercial sales of firearms in the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment periods of American history. In U.S. v. Hosford (D.Md. 2015), the decision held: “Neither party has attempted to provide comprehensive evidence of the state of the law at the time of ratification concerning the commercial sale of firearms.” This paper provides such evidence. There was a thriving trade in arms of all types, especially firearms, no restrictions on the general (commercial and private) transfer of arms, and few on the transfer of particular items (e.g., bowie knives) or to particular persons (e.g., negros).

Keywords: Arms, commercial transfer

Suggested Citation

Cramer, Clayton E. and Olson, Joseph Edward, Lack of Historical Restrictions on the Commercial and Private Transfer of Firearms in the United States (April 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2610905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2610905

Clayton E. Cramer

College of Western Idaho ( email )

5500 East Opportunity Drive
Nampa, ID 83687
United States

Joseph Edward Olson (Contact Author)

Hamline University - School of Law ( email )

1536 Hewitt Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104-1237
United States

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