Anything that a man wears for his defense or takes in his hands or uses in his anger, to cast at or strike at another. Co. Litt. 161b, 162a; State v. Buzzard, 4 Ark. 18.
This term, as it is used in the constitution, relative to the right of citizens to bear arms, refers to the arms of a militiaman or soldier, and the word is used in its military sense. The arms of the infantry soldier are the musket and bayonet; of cavalry and dragoons, the sabre, holster pistols, and carbine; of the artillery, the field-piece, siege-gun, and mortar, with side arms. The term, in this connection, cannot be made to cover such weapons as dirks, daggers, slung-shots, sword-canes, brass knuckles
, and bowie-knives. These are not military arms. English V. State, 35 Tex. 476, 14 Am. Rep. 374; Hill v. Slate, 53 Ga. 472; Fife v. State, 31 Ark. 455, 25 Am. Rep. 556; Andrews v. State, 3 Heishi (Tenn.) 179, 8 Am. Rep. 8; Aymette v. State, 2 Humph. (Tenn.) 154.
Arms, or coat of arms, signifies insignia, i. e., ensigns of honor, such as were formerly assumed by soldiers of fortune, and painted on their shields to distinguish them; or nearly the same as armorial bearings, (q. v.)