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Whereas by Royal Charter, dated the Fourteenth Day of March One thousand six hundred and thirty-seven, the Master, Wardens, and Society of the Mystery of Gunmakers of the City of London (in this Act called “the Gunmakers Company”) were incorporated, with Powers of searching for and proving and marking all Manner of Hand Guns, great and small Daggs and Pistols, and every Part thereof, whether made in London or the Suburbs or within Ten Miles thereof, or imported from Foreign Parts, or otherwise brought thither for Sale, and a Scale for Proof was thereby established, and in pursuance of their Charter the Gunmakers Company have established a Proof House near the City of London: And whereas by “The M1Gun Barrel Proof Act 1855,” the Acts then relating to the Guardians, Trustees, and Wardens of the Gun Barrel Proof House of the Town of Birmingham (in this Act called “the Guardians”) were repealed, and the Guardians were continued incorporated, but by their present Name of “the Guardians of the Birmingham Proof House,” and their Constitution was altered: And whereas by the said Act of 1855 (herein-after called “the recited Act”) Provision was made for the proving of the Barrels of Small Arms by the Gunmakers Company at their Proof House, and by the Guardians at the Birmingham Proof House, and certain Rules and Regulations and a Scale of Proof were thereby established, but subject to Alteration from Time to Time as by that Act provided, and the recited Act contains divers Provisions for securing that Barrels, not including Military Barrels, made for the Use of Her Majesty’s Forces or for the then and late Honourable East India Company, should be delivered to the Gunmakers Company and the Guardians (in this Act called “the Two Companies”) respectively, to be duly proved by them at their respective Proof Houses: And whereas the Rules and Regulations and Scale of Proof have from Time to Time been altered, and the same respectively now in force under the recited Act are not applicable to every Description of Small Arm now in use, or are in other respects defective, and it is expedient that the same respectively be amended: And whereas it is expedient that the Constitution of the Guardians and the Mode of Election of Guardians elected by the Birmingham Gun Trade be altered and amended, and that further Provision be made with respect to the Powers and Duties of the Proof Master, Wardens, and other Officers of the Two Companies respectively: And whereas the Provisions of the recited Act have proved insufficient to prevent the forging and counterfeiting of Proof Marks of the Two Companies respectively, and to ensure that Barrels of Small Arms made in England be submitted to the requisite Proof, and have been found defective in other respects, and it is expedient that further Provision be made against the forging or counterfeiting of Proof Marks of the Two Companies respectively, and for ensuring that Barrels of Small Arms made in England be duly proved, and marked as proved, and that the Exemption of Military Barrels from such Proof be confined to Military Barrels made for the Use of Her Majesty’s Forces or for the late Honourable East India Company while the Barrels are the Property of Her Majesty, and that the Provisions of the recited Act be amended in other respects: And whereas it is expedient that the Two Companies respectively be authorized to provide and maintain Branch Proof Houses at or near to London and Birmingham respectively: And whereas the Objects of this Act cannot be attained without the Authority of Parliament:
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