Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9


Dear Readers,

It is nice to see that my article Tombstone's Ordinance No.9 Was Neither Fair Nor Equally Enforced has been so well received.

Some of you have written to ask questions about Tombstone's City Ordinance Number 9. Among the questions, some of you have asked is why the Earps had the City Council pass it? 

Effective April 19, 1881, Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9 states:

"To Provide against Carrying of Deadly Weapons

Section 1. It is hereby declared unlawful to carry in the hand or upon the person or otherwise any deadly weapon within the limits of said city of Tombstone, without first obtaining a permit in writing.

Section 2: This prohibition does not extend to persons immediately leaving or entering the city, who, with good faith, and within reasonable time are proceeding to deposit, or take from the place of deposit such deadly weapon.

Section 3: All fire-arms of every description, and bowie knives and dirks, are included within the prohibition of this ordinance."

There are those who believe the ordinance was pressed into law after the City Council was pressured to do so by Virgil Earp. And yes, there are those who believe the Earps wanted to disarm their competition for control of the town. 

This could be the case, after all, effective earlier that month on April 12, 1881, Ordinance No.7, Section 1 was created, and states: 

"It shall be the duty of all policemen to arrest all parties found in the public streets within the city limits, engaged in brawling, quarreling, etc., and all persons who be shall found in any disorderly act whereby a breach of the peace might be occasioned."

I know that sounds pretty vague and wide open to interpretation, but that's the way some laws are written even today. 

It seems the Earps were taking no chances and were covering their bases when it came to having the law on their side when arresting someone like say Ike Clanton who was known to be drunk and disorderly several times in several saloons and other public places whenever he pleased. 

When Ike Clanton threatened the Earps and and Doc Holliday, Clanton was in violation of Ordinance Number 7, Section 1, and Virgil Earp made the arrest on a public street when he enforced it.

City Ordinance Number 7, like the April 19th city ordinance known as Number 9 were thought to be created by the Earps to disarm political enemies more than being created to stem a rising tide of violence there at the time.

Remember, in 1881, Tombstone was not exactly a hotbed of violence and murder. In fact, all that year there were only 6 homicides -- one was done with a rock, one was done with an axe, and the 4 were shot dead.
Of those 4 shot dead, 3 were shot dead at the gunfight near the OK Corral.

A few readers have asked the question, how long did the City of Tombstone Ordinance Number 9 remain in effect in Tombstone? Some of you have written asking me if the City Ordinance was struck down after the Earps were forced out of Tombstone? And yes, some have asked if the Ordinance Number 9 is still in effect today as a means of gun-control in that city?

Terry McGahey
The answer to how long Ordinance Number 9 was in effect, even when it was in direct violation of Arizona State laws regarding the carry of firearms, is a story that I came across by way of my friend Terry McGahey.

Terry McGahey's experience with the City of Tombstone is at the heart of what killed America's most famous anti-gun law, Tombstone's City Ordinance Number 9, once and for all.

After reading his story of what took place, the event that lead up to finally putting an end to the most famous gun-control law in America, I asked and he graciously consented to allow me to publish his story here.

It is a great story of one man's fight to make things right in the city he called home even after threat, intimidation, and attempts on his life.

It is written by Terry McGahey just as it took place.

It is titled "The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9." 

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter One)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Two)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Three)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Four)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Five)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Six)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Seven)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Eight)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Nine)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Ten)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Eleven)

The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter Twelve)

Tom Correa
Editor / Publisher
The American Cowboy Chronicles



2 comments:

  1. I can not wait to read this story written by my Uncle Terry. He fought hard for the gun laws in Tombstone.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great job dad, love it!

    ReplyDelete

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