neither the general or state governments should take them
Mr. Varnum* (Speaker) said as the bill now stood he thought it violated a correct principle–that the people should hold the arms in such a manner that neither the general or state governments should take them from them. He was perfectly disposed to go as far as any gentleman to extend the manufacture of arms in our own country, provided those arms should be placed in such a situation that every individual citizen might purchase them at his own expense.–Mr. Varnum, Monday, April 18, 1808.
(* Joseph Bradley Varnum, (Jan. 29, 1751 – Sept. 21, 1821), was a Democratic-Republican Party member from Massachusetts. He served as a U.S. Representative and United States Senator, and held leadership positions in both bodies.)