37 Tex. 354 (Tex. 1872), Waddell v. State

Citation:37 Tex. 354
Opinion Judge:WALKER, J.
Party Name:C. W. WADDELL v. THE STATE.
Attorney:No brief for the appellant has reached the hands of the reporter. William Alexander, Attorney-General, for the State.
Court:Supreme Court of Texas
 
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Page 354

37 Tex. 354 (Tex. 1872)

C. W. WADDELL

v.

THE STATE.

Supreme Court of Texas.

1872

On the trial of an indictment for carrying deadly weapons, the proof was that the accused purchased two pistols in the town of C., and, for the purpose of obtaining balls for the pistols, he carried them from the store where he purchased them to one or more places where ammunition was sold, and from thence to his home, some fifteen miles distant. Held, that these acts did not constitute a violation of the spirit of the law regulating the keeping and bearing of deadly weapons, and the court below erred in instructing the jury that there was a violation of the law. There can be no violation of a criminal law without an intention to violate it.

APPEAL from Houston. Tried below before the Hon. L. W. Cooper.

The facts of the case are stated in the opinion and headnote.

No brief for the appellant has reached the hands of the reporter.

William Alexander, Attorney-General, for the State.

WALKER, J.

We are authorized to presume that by the act of April 12th, 1871, entitled " An act to regulate the keeping and bearing of deadly weapons," the Legislature intended to suppress the absurd and vicious practice of bearing upon the person such weapons as pistols, dirks, daggers, slung-shots, sword-canes, spears, brass-knuckles, and bowie knives. But we find nothing in the act which, rightly construed, takes away any right or abridges any reasonable and lawful privilege of the citizen. But if wrong constructions are placed upon this act, and absurd and vexatious prosecutions for acts not within the denunciation of the law are tolerated and entertained by the courts, the law itself must become unpopular, even odious, to a free people, and the Legislature will be driven by public indignation and protest to repeal the law. We believe this would be a great public misfortune, as the law, in itself, when properly understood and rightly administered, is wise and salutary.

We do not think the evidence in this case proves an offense against the spirit of the law. The court charged the jury in these words: " The buying of a pistol in the town of Crockett would not be a violation of the law, but carrying it over the town of Crockett, and from store to store, or miles away from Crockett to his residence, would be a violation of the law."

The evidence shows that on the 23d...

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