The Statute of Northampton, one of the earliest laws regulating weapons
possession, provided that, unless he was on the King’s business, no man was permitted
to “go nor ride armed by night nor by day, in fairs, markets, nor in the presence of the
justices or other ministers, nor in no part elsewhere, upon pain to forfeit their armour to the
King, and their bodies to prison at the King’s pleasure.” Statute of Northampton, 2 Edw.
3, c. 3 (1328) (Eng.). English courts upheld the continuing vitality of this law, even
hundreds of years later. In Sir John Knight’s Case, 87 Eng. Rep. 75 (1686), for example,
the Chief Justice noted that carrying arms in public was not merely banned by the Statute
of Northampton, but was “likewise a great offence at the common law.” Id. The reason
was not just that carrying arms in public was dangerous, but also that it was an insult to
the sovereign and the social compact: “as if the King were not able or willing to protect his
subjects.” Id. In this way, the Statue of Northampton was “but an affirmance” of the
longstanding common law rule that there is no right to carry weapons in public.
LOL!!! "King Richard" must have put them up to this.