[ Back | Home ]
[Cite as Dunston v. State, 124 Ala. 89, 27 So.
333, 82 Am. St. Rep. 152 (1900).]
DUNSTON v. STATE.
(Supreme Court of Alabama. Jan. 31, 1900.)
Criminal Law--Carrying a
On a trial under Cr. Code, §
4420, for carrying a pistol concealed about one's person, it is no
defense that defendant was alone and in his own home.
Appeal from circuit court, Geneva county; A. H.
Ruffin Dunston was convicted of carrying a pistol concealed about his
person, and appeals. Affirmed.
On the trial of the cause, the evidence showed,
without conflict, that Ruffin Dunston, the defendant, had a pistol concealed
about his person in Geneva county, within 12 months before the finding of the
indictment; that at the time specified the defendant was in his own cabin, and
had not been out of it with the pistol upon his person; that he was arrested in
his own cabin by the sheriff, and searched, and the pistol thereby found
concealed on his person. There was no evidence tending to show that the
defendant had at any time, left the cabin with the pistol on his person, or that
any one had been present with him in the room, except the officers when they
went to arrest him. This being all the evidence in the case, the defendant
requested the court to give to the jury the following written charges, and
separately excepted to the court's refusal to give each of them as asked: (1)
"If the jury find that there was no evidence tending to show that defendant had
left his house with the pistol on his person, although he had one concealed on
his person within his bedroom at the time he was arrested, they must find him
not guilty." (2) "If the jury believe from the evidence that the defendant was
in his cabin alone at the time the sheriff arrested him, and there is no
evidence tending to prove that he carried the pistol concealed about him on the
outside of his cabin, it being his domicile, then he has not violated the
statute, and they must find defendant not guilty." (3) "The statute against
carrying a concealed pistol was intended to suppress a public evil, and
consequently to guard the public safety; hence if the jury believe from all the
evidence that the defendant, at no time covered by the testimony, had left his
room, and there was no (p.334) one present with
him at the time of his arrest, in the absence of any evidence that any one had
been with him, although he had the pistol concealed when arrested, the offense
was incomplete, and they must find the defendant not guilty."
James B. Cox, for appellant. Chas. G. Brown, Atty. Gen., for the
SHARPE, J. Neither by the letter nor by the spirit
of the statute prohibiting the carrying of weapons concealed about the person is
any exception created in favor of place. One of the objects of the law is the
avoidance of bad influences which the wearing of a concealed deadly weapon may
exert upon the wearer himself, and which in that way, as well as by the weapon's
obscured convenience for use, may tend to the insecurity of other persons. Owen v. State, 31 Ala. 387; State v. Reid, 1 Ala. 612. The mental
suggestions which proceed from constant contact with weapons specially adapted
to, and usually worn for the purpose of, inflicting bodily harm to persons, may
come as well when the wearer is in his domicile as elsewhere. The only matter
relied on to acquit the defendant is that he was in his home when carrying the
pistol concealed upon his person, and that until the time of his arrest he was
alone. This neither avoids the operation of the statute nor excuses its
violation. Harman v. State, 69 Ala. 248; Owen
v. State, supra. The judgment will be affirmed.