[ Back | Home ]
[Cite as State v. Brown, 125 N.C. 704, 34 S.E.
STATE v. BROWN.
(Supreme Court of North Carolina. Dec. 22,
CARRYING WEAPONS--INTENT TO CONCEAL--PURPOSE IN
Where defendant had concealed in his pocket a
pistol, which he was carrying to deliver to (p.550)a person to whom he had sold it, there being no proof
that he did not intend to conceal it, he is guilty of violation of Code, § 1005, prohibiting the carrying of deadly weapons about
the person, except on one's premises, since the statute refers to the manner of
carrying a weapon, and not the "use" for which it is carried.
Appeal from superior court, Iredell county;
Gus Brown was indicted for carrying a concealed weapon. From a
judgment in his favor, the state appeals. Reversed.
The Attorney General, for the State.
CLARK, J. The defendant is indicted under Code, § 1005 , which makes it a misdemeanor "if any one, except
when on his own premises, shall carry concealed about his person any deadly
weapon"; reciting the kinds of weapons, and excepting certain classes of
persons, and making the possession about the person presumption of concealment.
The special verdict finds that "the defendant had in his hip pocket, concealed,
a pistol, off his own premises." This comes within the letter and meaning of the
statute. The special verdict further finds that the defendant was "carrying the
pistol for the purpose of delivery to a party to whom he had sold it; that it
accidentally dropped from his pocket, while engaged In catching a chicken loose
upon the streets." In State v. Dixon, 114 N.C. 850, 19 S.E.
364 , it is said: "In trials for this offense, it must be borne in mind
that the guilty intent is the intent to carry the weapon concealed, and does not
depend upon the intent to use it. The object of this statute is not to forbid
the carrying of a deadly weapon for use, but to prevent the opportunity and
temptation to use it arising from concealment. If the weapon is carried for
lawful use, or even for unlawful use, the defendant would not be guilty, under
this section, if the weapon is carried openly; since this statute applies, not
to the act of carrying the weapon or the purpose in carrying it, but to the
manner of carrying it." This case reviewed previous authorities, and has itself
been cited and followed in State v. Pigford, 117 N.C. 748, 23 S.E.
182 ; State v. Reams, 121 N.C. 556, 27 S.E. 1004 . In
this last case, Faircloth, C. J., says: "The offense of carrying a concealed
weapon about one's person, and off his own premises, consists in the guilty
intent to carry it concealed, and not in the intent to use it; and the
possession of the deadly weapon raises the presumption of guilt, which
presumption may be rebutted by the defendant." Here, the special verdict finds
that the deadly weapon was in fact carried concealed, and the jury do not find
that there was no intent to "carry it concealed," which is what the statute
forbids. The jury find that the purpose of carrying it was for delivery to
another, but, as the above decisions hold, the purpose of carrying it is not to
the point. The question is as to the manner of carrying,--whether it was
concealed or not,--and it might be shown in defense that there was no intent to
conceal it, which the jury might find when the deadly weapon is conveyed simply
as merchandise. But the absence of intent to conceal must be affirmatively
found, to rebut the presumption arising from the concealment; and the jury not
having found that, notwithstanding the concealment, there was no intent to
conceal, judgment upon the special verdict should have been entered against the
defendant. The authorities upon this subject are conveniently grouped in
Wals. Dig. 72 ; 5 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law (2d. Ed.)