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[Cite as Commonwealth v. McNulty, 28 Leg.
Intel., 389, 8 Phila. 610 (Penn. 1871).]
[Leg. Int., 1871, p. 398.]
Commonwealth vs. McNulty.
A Policeman may be convicted of carrying concealed
weapons; the presumption that he carries them lawfully may be
The defendant herein, who had recently been
acquitted of the charge of murder, was tried for assault and battery with intent
to kill, and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. In support of the latter
charge, it was shown that the defendant, a police officer, having been relieved
from duty, went to the house of the prosecutors, and in the course of a personal
altercation, drew from beneath his coat a pistol, with which he beat them. His
counsel contended that there could be no conviction on this indictment, because
the defendant was armed by the public, as a conservator of the peace, and was
required by his office to carry the weapon.
The court held that the offence of carrying a concealed deadly weapon
could be committed by a police officer, as well as by a private citizen; the
difference being, that a private person was presumed to carry it for an unlawful
purpose, while an officer was presumed to have it for a lawful purpose, either
presumption being liable to be rebutted by proof.