Gun Barrel Proof Act 1855

Citation1855 c. cxlviii
JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Gun Barrel Proof Act 1855

(18 & 19 Vict.) c. cxlviii

An Act for insuring the due Proof of Gun Barrels in England, and for other Purposes.

[16th July 1855]

ANNO DECIMO OCTAVO & DECIMO NONO VICTORLE REGIME. *****************44*******t**4*********44Wietagalk4** Cap. cxlviii. An Act for insuring the due Proof of Gun Barrels in England, and for other Purposes. [16th July 1855.] WHEREAS by Royal Charter, dated the Fourteenth Day of Charter, March One thousand six hundred and thirty-seven, the dated 14th March 1637. Master, Wardens, and Society of the Mistery of Gun- makers of the City of London (in this Act called the Gunmakers Company) were incorporated, with perpetual Succession, and with Powers of searching for and viewing and proving and marking all manner of Hand Guns whatsoever, great and small Daggs and Pistols, and every Part thereof, whether made in London or the Suburbs, or within Ten Miles thereof, or imported from Foreign Parts or otherwise brought thither for Sale, and a Scale for such Proof was thereby established, and a Stamp was thereby authorized to be used for such marking by that Company : And whereas the Gunmakers Company, in pursuance of the Provisions of their Charter, have established a Proof House near the City of London for such proving : And whereas in or before the Year One thousand eight hundred and thirteen, Money was subscribed in Birmingham for the Erection and Establishment in that Town of a public Proof House for Fire-arms : And whereas by an Act of the Fifty-third Year of the Reign of King George the Third, Chapter [Local.] 26 Q One 2362 18 & 19 VICTORLE, The Cun _Barrel Proof Act, 1855. 53 G. 3. c. 115. 55 G. 3. c. 59. One hundred and fifteen, intituled An Act to insure the proper and careful manufacturing of Fire-arms in England, andfor making Provision for proving the Barrels ofsuch Fire-arms, the Guardians, Trustees, and Wardens of the Gun Barrel Proof House of the Town of Birmingham (in this Act called the Birmingham Company) were incorporated, with perpetual Succession, for the Purpose of proving and marking Barrels of Fire-arms, and were empowered to erect and establish in Birmingham a proper Proof House, and to apply for that Purpose the Money so subscribed, and Provision was thereby made for the Repayment thereof with Interest : And whereas by that Act Provision was made for the proving at the Birmingham Proof House of the Barrels of Fire-arms not proved at the Proof House of the Gun- makers Company or at some other public Proof House established by Law, and for the marking of such Barrels as proved, and a Scale for such Proof was established, and a Stamp was authorized to be used for such marking by the Birmingham Company, and Penalties were imposed in respect of the Sale of Barrels of Fire-arms not proved and marked as proved at the Proof House of the Gunmakers Company, the Birmingham Proof House, or some other public Proof House : And whereas the Birmingham Company in pursuance of that Act established a Proof House in Birmingham (in this Act called the Birmingham Proof House) for such proving : And whereas the Money so subscribed for the Purposes of the Birmingham Proof House, with the Interest thereon, was paid off : And whereas by an Act of the Fifty-fifth Year of the Reign of King George the Third, Chapter Fifty-nine, intituled An Act for amending an Act of His present Majesty, to insure the proper and careful manufacturing of Fire-arms in England, andfor making Provision for proving the Barrels of such Fire-arms, further Provision was made for the proving, and marking as proved, by the Birmingham Company and the Gunmakers Company (in this Act called the Two Companies) respectively of the Barrels of Fire-arms, and further Penalties were imposed for the Purpose of securing the due proving of such Barrels, and the Constitution of the Birmingham Company was altered : And whereas the recited Acts have been put in execution by the Birmingham Company, and they are now possessed of the Birmingham Proof House situate in Banbury Street in the Borough of Birmingham, which is vested in Trustees for them and is used for the Purposes of those Acts : And whereas the recited Acts have also been put in execution by the Gunmakers Company so far as they regarded that Company, and they have ever since the granting of their Charter been and are now possessed of a proper Proof House in Church Lane, Whitechapel, near the City of London, (in this Act called the Proof House of the Gunmakers Company,) which is used for the Purposes of those Acts and of their Charter : And whereas by reason of progressive Improvements in the Manufacture of Small Arms since the passing 18 & 19 VICTORIX, Cap. cxlviii. 2363 The Gun Barrel Proof Act, 1855. passing of the secondly-recited Act, some of the Provisions of the recited Acts respectively are not applicable to every Description of Small Arm now in use, or are in other respects insufficient ; and it is expedient that better Provision be made for insuring that Small Arms made in England be properly and carefully manufactured, and in order thereto that better Provision be made for the proving and marking as proved of all such Parts of Small Arms as for securing the safe User thereof ought to be proved, and that further Powers be conferred on the Two Companies respectively for insuring Compliance with the Requirements of this Act : And whereas it is expedient that the Scale of Proof required by the recited Acts be amended: And whereas it is expedient that all smooth bored single Barrels be proved once only, and by definitive Proof, and only when in the State in that Behalf by this Act provided, and that all rifled Barrels and double Barrels be proved by provisional and also by definitive Proof as respectively by this Act provided : And whereas it is expedient that the Birmingham Proof House be vested in the Birmingham Company : And whereas, in order to avoid the Inconvenience of several Acts relating to the same Matter being in force at the same Time, it is expedient that the recited Acts be repealed, and that Parts thereof be re-enacted with Amendments : And whereas the Objects of this Act cannot be attained without the Authority of Parliament : May it therefore please Your Majesty that it may be enacted ; and be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows : I. This Act may be cited for any Purpose as " The Gun Barrel Short Title. Proof Act, 1855." II. This Act shall commence and have Effect on and after the Commeilee- Fourth Wednesday next after the passing thereof. ment of A, III. This Act shall not in any way interfere with the Power of Reservin2Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, from Time to Time to Power for Crown to establish public Proof Houses in such Places and under such Regu-establish lations as to the Care and Management thereof as to Her Majesty, public Prof Houses. Her Heirs and Successors, may seem fit. IV. In the Construction of this Act the following Words and Interpretation of Expressions have the following Meanings, unless there be in the Terms. Subject or Context something repugnant to or inconsistent with such Construction ; to wit, " Official Members of the Birmingham Company" means the several Persons who by virtue of their respective Offices are from Time to Time Members of the Birmingham Company : " Ordinary 2364 18 & 191: ICTORIAE, Cap.cxlviii. The Gun Barrel Proof Ad, 1855. " Ordinary Members of the Birmingham Company " means the several Persons other than the Official Members who from Time to Time are Members of the Birmingham Company : " Small Arms" includes Small Arms of every Description, and whether of present Use or of future Invention, respectively adapted for the Discharge of Bullets, Shots, or other Projectiles, either by means of the Explosion, Ignition, or other Action of Gunpowder, Gun-cotton, fulminating Powder, or other Substance, whether of present Use or of future Invention or Application, or by means of the Expansion of Steam or Gas, or by any other Means not being merely mechanical Means, except Air Guns as at present manufactured : " Barrel " includes every Barrel of every Small Arm and every Breech of every Small Arm and every Part of every Small Arm, which Part would in the User of the Small Arm contain all or any Part of the Charge of the Small Arm, and every Part of every Small Arm in, from, or through which Part, in the User of the Small Arm, all or any Part of the Charge thereof would be exploded or discharged: " Barrel " also includes all Barrels welded, forged, or cast, finished or unfinished, or in any other progressive State of Manufacture, and any and every Part of a Barrel : " Double Barrel" includes every Barrel constructed for every Small Arm consisting of Two or more Barrels : " Provisional Proof " means Proof of a Barrel liable in any subsequent Stage of Manufacture to be reduced in Strength before it forms Part of a Small Arm in a finished State : " Definitive Proof " means Proof of a Barrel not liable in any subsequent Stage of Manufacture to be reduced in Strength before it forms Part of a Small Arm in a finished State : " Proof " includes " provisional Proof " and " definitive Proof," and means, as the Case requires, " provisional Proof" or " definitive Proof ": " Stamp " includes every Stamp, Die, Punch, Tool, and other Instrument whatsoever, by means whereof any Mark can be made on any Metal' whatsoever : " Mark " includes every Mark and other Impression of and made with any Stamp or produced by any other Means whatsoever on any Metal whatsoever : The " Birmingham Gun Trade " means Master Gunmakers or Master Gun Barrel Makers carrying on Business in or within Ten Miles of the Borough of Birmingham rated to the Relief of the Poor of the Parish in which they shall carry on Business upon the annual Value of not...

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