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[Cite as Dunston v. State, 124 Ala. 89, 27 So. 333, 82 Am. St. Rep. 152 (1900).]


(Supreme Court of Alabama. Jan. 31, 1900.)

Criminal Law--Carrying a Pistol--Defenses.

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. Alston, Judge.

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 State.

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.