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College of William and Mary

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Dangerous And Unusual Misdirection: A Look At The Common Law Tradition Of Prohibiting Going Armed With Dangerous And Unusual Weapons To The Terror Of The People As Cited In District Of Columbia V. Heller, Daniel Page Jan 2011

Dangerous And Unusual Misdirection: A Look At The Common Law Tradition Of Prohibiting Going Armed With Dangerous And Unusual Weapons To The Terror Of The People As Cited In District Of Columbia V. Heller, Daniel Page

Daniel R Page

In dicta, the Supreme Court in Heller cited the historical ban on “Dangerous and Unusual Weapons” to support a common use test on statutes that ban certain types of weapons considered to be “dangerous and unusual”. This paper examines the historical use and definition of the phrase “Dangerous and Unusual Weapons” and concludes that it refers not to a class of weapons, but to a class of behavior.