Destructive Devices....legal steps to own and use one..


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saturno_v
February 4, 2010, 02:10 PM
Let's make a simple practical example of, let's say, a 155mm Howitzer.

What are the legal steps a civilian must undertake to own one?? Where and when he/she can use it?? Under what circumstances?? Under monitoring??

I know that some states ban the ownership of destructive devices by civilians.

What is the upper (Federal) legal limit of destructive decives civilian ownership??

Can you legally own (at least in some states) a B-52 loaded with bombs?? What about a figher jet armed with missiles and cannons??

Some pieces of hardware have ad-hoc legislation to limit private ownership??

The ultimate extreme example...what is the specific law that bans ownership of a nuclear weapon by a civilian??

I'm curious about this often poorly understood part of weapon legislation.


I was one, among many, that thought that "you cannot own a cannon in the US...or any firearm bigger than 50 cal. (excluding shotguns)" but then I realized that is not true.

Regards

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General Geoff
February 4, 2010, 02:17 PM
Can you legally own (at least in some states) a B-52 loaded with bombs?? What about a figher jet armed with missiles and cannons??

If you can find someone who's legally selling a B-52, you can certainly purchase it. Same with the bombs ($200 tax stamp on each one, though). Fighter jet, same thing. But the cannon has to be dismantled because of the 1986 machine gun ban. Everything else on it is kosher, if you can afford it (missiles are stupid expensive).

The hard part is finding military jets and weapons to purchase. And only a millionaire could reasonably afford to fly such a jet on even an occasional basis.


There are currently two Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers for sale to anyone who can afford them. http://www.prideaircraft.com/flanker.htm

Bane
February 4, 2010, 02:22 PM
The simple answer to your question is: yes it is possible to own destructive devices as a civilian.

The more complicated answer is: ownership depends on state laws and each device (canon, motar, gernade, bomb, explosive shell) requires registration (tax stamp) and anything explosive will likely have storage requirements (which could be as elaborate as an underground bunker).

I am by no means an expert but lots of great info can be found in the AR15.com Armory section in the Destructive Devices sub-forum. The people over there have lots of knowledge too.

Floppy_D
February 4, 2010, 02:24 PM
... a B-52 loaded with bombs??

Just make sure your 4096 is Class C and altitude capable, should you get within 30 miles of Class B airspace. :D

nalioth
February 4, 2010, 02:42 PM
Can you legally own (at least in some states) a B-52 loaded with bombs?? What about a figher jet armed with missiles and cannons??
If you can find someone who's legally selling a B-52, you can certainly purchase it. Same with the bombs ($200 tax stamp on each one, though). Fighter jet, same thing. But the cannon has to be dismantled because of the 1986 machine gun ban. If one can afford the fighter jet, you can certainly can afford a transferable minigun to outfit it . .

General Geoff
February 4, 2010, 02:48 PM
The cannon on most American jet fighter aircraft is an M61 Vulcan, not a Minigun. I am not certain whether there are any NFA-registered M61s in circulation.

highorder
February 4, 2010, 02:50 PM
I am not certain whether there are any NFA-registered M61s in circulation.

I'm going to guess...no.

General Geoff
February 4, 2010, 02:51 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if there was one or two, but I doubt the current owner(s) would be willing to sell them.

saturno_v
February 4, 2010, 02:51 PM
The hard part is finding military jets and weapons to purchase. And only a millionaire could reasonably afford to fly such a jet on even an occasional basis.



Actually not hard at all to find military jets for sale

Many very wealthy aviation aficionados own them...Larry Ellison, CEO or Oracle has two Migs, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft own an entire collection, John Travolta own an F-4 Phantom.

During the 90's stock market boom buying Russian military jets was a fairly common "hobby" for millionaire daredevil CEOs...

Some F-4 Phantoms available for sale in Arizona at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance Group...you can get one for less than $500.000, the problem is the operating costs...

http://public.blu.livefilestore.com/y1ptwxiJEYzSXoTkuA5vYxwgDc-PksZKtJ4i2t5k9Km4YSzvMa-Epsm7_WJyhyEVdtZ4NoRVXpnJnywnhGrXdUcnQ/F-4%20mothball.jpg

TehK1w1
February 4, 2010, 03:00 PM
Not to pull it off-topic, but anyone who could afford a fighter jet could afford to set up as an FFL. Would it be possible to build the M61 as a post-86 dealer sample?

EDIT: Yeah, maintainence can be killer for aircraft. Worse than boats...

nalioth
February 4, 2010, 03:07 PM
The cannon on most American jet fighter aircraft is an M61 Vulcan, not a Minigun. I am not certain whether there are any NFA-registered M61s in circulation. Yes, I'm quite aware of the differences.

• Money-no-object, a transferable minigun is obtainable w/o getting a SOT and flying around a "dealer sample".
• Not only is the minigun more easily obtainable, so is the ammo (20mm rounds are not easy to get)
• The minigun should be able to be easily mounted into the aircraft (just some new brackets to make up for the size differences)
• The lighter minigun should give you at least a tenth of a gallon per minute fuel bonus :D

CoRoMo
February 4, 2010, 03:09 PM
Well, when your privately owned island is out of the jurisdiction of the BATFE...:D

highorder
February 4, 2010, 03:12 PM
With unlimited funds, it's probably far EASIER to set up a tin-pot republic offshore than it is to jump through the BATFE's hoops! ;)

armoredman
February 4, 2010, 04:03 PM
The F4s at the boneyard at DMAFB will need just a WEE bit more maintenance than one would think - almost everything electronic was removed when they were prepped for long term storage, IIRC. Drove by that "lot" for years. So you may get a pretty plane shell for $500G, but will need a bit more to make it flyable.

Hatterasguy
February 4, 2010, 08:57 PM
If you have the money don't even bother doing it in this country. Do it in a country with more favorable laws for such activities, or buy your own island and have fun.:D

Avizpls
February 4, 2010, 09:11 PM
OK, what country has more favorable laws.

And nobody has touched on owning a nuke yet. Remember, unlimited funds.

NMGonzo
February 5, 2010, 03:49 AM
I want a submarine ... diesel please.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 5, 2010, 04:07 AM
Building a nuclear device is not nearly the difficult task it was 60 years ago. Obtaining the materials is the only real hurdle, and many of those can be commercially obtained. The real trick is getting and refining the fissile material. I'm only guessing here, but I would bet there is an EPA law against possession of fissile material in a big enough quantity to make your bomb any more than a mock-up

Gungnir
February 5, 2010, 04:33 AM
Building a nuclear device is not nearly the difficult task it was 60 years ago. Obtaining the materials is the only real hurdle, and many of those can be commercially obtained. The real trick is getting and refining the fissile material. I'm only guessing here, but I would bet there is an EPA law against possession of fissile material in a big enough quantity to make your bomb any more than a mock-up
Yeah there are many. not to mention the NRC.. Check out this story.
http://www.dangerouslaboratories.org/radscout.html

CleverNickname
February 5, 2010, 10:06 AM
Here's the relevant US Code governing nukes. (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00002122----000-.html)

Elvishead
March 5, 2010, 05:41 AM
Maybe you should ask the FBI or the CIA about this. I'm watching you!

WoofersInc
March 5, 2010, 03:46 PM
Many very wealthy aviation aficionados own them...Larry Ellison, CEO or Oracle has two Migs, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft own an entire collection, John Travolta own an F-4 Phantom.

Also the owner of Dillon has quite a few fighters also.

22lr
March 7, 2010, 01:08 AM
There was a big deal a few years back about a F-18 airframe that was for sale but hadnt been properly demilled so it was technically still considered a fighter. I want to say the government ended up stepping in a destroying it before the sale took place, but I might be mistaken on the last part there.

shotgunjoel
March 11, 2010, 02:31 AM
The ultimate extreme example...what is the specific law that bans ownership of a nuclear weapon by a civilian??

You realize that 95% of the COUNTRIES in the world are forbidden from even trying to build nuclear weapons by international treaty and law!? Good luck convincing the ATF that you need to build one in your basement. Is there even a point to this thread?

Sam1911
March 11, 2010, 08:31 AM
Is there even a point to this thread?Sure there's a point to the thread. A good one in fact.

Saturno asked how to go about purchasing a large bore destructive device and got some good info on that. The conversation expanded to cover some thorny (and largely theoretical) questions about how the law COULD be seen to allow private ownership of some pretty heavy duty ordinance. And members have added what they know regarding other (non-NFA related) laws that limit or prohibit certain materials, and which provide a non-theoretical limit on what you can own.

I think it has been a pretty cool thread!

archigos
March 11, 2010, 10:16 AM
I was one, among many, that thought that "you cannot own a cannon in the US...or any firearm bigger than 50 cal. (excluding shotguns)" but then I realized that is not true.
Not exactly a destructive device, but you can own this (http://anzioironworks.com/MAG-FED-20MM-RIFLE.htm).

Heljac
March 11, 2010, 09:19 PM
Actually, that is a Destructive Device according to the ATF.

Mandolin
March 11, 2010, 09:49 PM
49" barrel? That's longer than most guns are! And you can put a suppreser on it too! All for only $16,200 dollars, plus NFA tax, shipping and ammunition! Not only that, but there's probably no range that will let you shoot it. Starts at 60lb and just goes Up. Onw this uselees hunk of steel today!!!

jojo200517
March 11, 2010, 11:25 PM
Hey anyone know if that rifle comes in solid black?

I want one BAD

CoRoMo
March 12, 2010, 10:14 AM
Mag-Fed 20MM Rifle
Features:


49” match grade fluted barrel
Heavy duty clam-shell brake
Detachable box magazine
Available in 14.5mm, 20mm, and new Anzio 20-50 calibers
Titanium firing pin
5000 yard maximum range
Optional weights and configurations
Huge amounts of fun
Low recoil


I'm glad they included 'fun' in the manufacturing of this thing, but I wonder what kind of price break I might get if I order mine without it.:confused:

hirundo82
March 12, 2010, 08:04 PM
OK, what country has more favorable laws.There are a number of third-world dictatorships where they would let you do pretty much whatever you want if you have the money to pay off the right people.

Dan Forrester
March 28, 2010, 01:36 PM
James DeGroat has had this US T8 90mm anti-tank cannon for sale for quite some time now. Last I saw he was asking $129,000 for it.

Here's a utube video of it at knob creek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s6_vufc1ns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IeEa8tqUkE

I really want a 75mm pack howitzer myself. Brass and projectiles are extremely common for these to reloading is no problem. I see them pop up on sub guns for $20,000 to 30,000 every year or so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoMbtXMXOIw

Basicly if you can buy a .22 chipmunk rifle at Gander Mountain you can get one of these. All you have to do is pay an extra $200 and wait an extra month or two.

Dan

rscalzo
March 28, 2010, 02:37 PM
And only a millionaire could reasonably afford to fly such a jet on even an occasional basis.

To the best of my knowledge, the only F-4 in p-rivate hands is owned by the Collins foundation. A friend worked for them and I learned that even they cannot afford to fly it without backing. At this time there are some administrative issues stopping flight with anything other than certified crew. I understood that it also took some Congressional action to allow Collins the ability to restore theirs.

I've never heard that Travolta owned one. Even he doesn't have the bucks to keep one flying.

ChaoSS
April 1, 2010, 06:10 PM
I just want to point out that there are a number of large destructive devices in private hands, namely under the control of private military contractors. I don't know how all of them are outfitted, but I'm pretty sure that many of them own artillery pieces.

Sebastian the Ibis
April 16, 2010, 07:32 PM
At least one person has a 20 mm Vulcan:

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/nfa4sale.cgi?read=126636

The trick with jets is getting them imported. Someone bought the entire bomber fleet of the New Zealand Airforce - a wing of A4's. However, the State Department will not allow a wing of strike aircraft in private hands.

PTK
April 16, 2010, 07:51 PM
At least one person has a 20 mm Vulcan:

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/nfa4sale.cgi?read=126636

The trick with jets is getting them imported. Someone bought the entire bomber fleet of the New Zealand Airforce - a wing of A4's. However, the State Department will not allow a wing of strike aircraft in private hands.
That's a WTB, not a WTS.

bigalexe
April 20, 2010, 01:29 PM
On the subject of the Nuclear Weapon someone brought up.

Yes nuclear weapons on the surface appear ridiculously complicated however they in fact are not. What is complicated is obtaining and working with the proper isotopes of particular radioactive materials, also not getting killed in the process by radiation poisoning.

However once you get the materials you essentially lay dynamite sticks around the core and blow all the sticks simultaneously which crushes the material with ridiculous force. At that point the Fission happens (not to be confused with Dynamite Fishing, as that is a completely different sport) and you get your nuclear boom.

Now all of this setup requires tons of math and physics I have omitted for simplicity but the basic concept is there.

Acera
April 23, 2010, 03:43 AM
For the guy who wanted a submarine.......

http://www.projectboats.com/whiskeysub.html

Just missed this one.........
http://www.maritimesales.com/PI12.htm

Of course if you want one to just cruise around in and not threaten anyone with war, try this one.
http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1992/Submarine-Comex-1938682/Freeport/Bahamas

CYANIDEGENOCIDE
April 28, 2010, 08:47 PM
http://www.1919a4.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24098&page=2
I remember when this one popped up. I do not think it has been sold.

PTK
April 28, 2010, 11:16 PM
$25k for a 75mm anti-air cannon? Seems... cheap.


Oh, wait, it's been deactivated. Parts kit, essentially.

Neo-Luddite
April 30, 2010, 01:24 AM
If you think 'lower tech' DD, like a frag grenade, you'd think every once in a while someone would want to have one to keep (handy standoff weapon---the guy with the frag wins if the bluff is solid, right?) or for kicks for a special occasion, etc.

SO. maybe worth, what--500 bucks including stamp and such AT BEST in 'fair value'

They *are* 'out there' but those in that sort of hobby keep quiet(!) I'm sure.

Many intangible forces keep these obvious 'goodies' out of the shotgun news. Many OTHER forces keep cetain hidden-and-legal in plain sight goodies ready for mail order for a couple of bucks.

There is a bizarre social psychology at work I don't pretend to understand---some folks do I'm sure.

ANymore, I'm lucky to have any ammo for my Crossman bb gun. Too much $$$.


And no, I don't 'have a line' on any legal-to-sell frags. Honestly, I'm somehwhat clumsy and I don't 'dig' the things very much. But, hey--to each his own.

hso
May 1, 2010, 02:54 PM
However once you get the materials you essentially lay dynamite sticks around the core and blow all the sticks simultaneously which crushes the material with ridiculous force

Ummmm, kinda, but a gross oversimplification. Yes, one of the types of nuclear devices is an implosion device where a shell of high explosive is detonated and the blast wave compresses a core of subcritical fissile material to a super-critical mass. The problem is that one of the greatest technical problems is getting the HE to detonate uniformly without blowing the whole thing, core and all, apart instead of "inward". The geometry of the HE has to be just so, the timing of the detonation sequence has to be just so, the geometry of the fissile core elements has to be just so, and so on or what you get is a simple high explosive detonation and a highly contaminated area around it. Essentially a dirty bomb instead of a nuclear weapon.

BTW, not only is it illegal for an individual to have a nuke, it's illegal to have any quantity greater than an exempt source (tiny) of the special nuclear material needed for the core without licensing.

ChaoSS
May 1, 2010, 03:49 PM
It may be a gross oversimplification, but the concept is sound. In fact, if my memory serves correctly, one of the first nuclear weapons was actually detonated by firing a slug of nuclear material at another mass of nuclear material down a gun barrel.

Zoogster
May 1, 2010, 04:01 PM
If you can find someone who's legally selling a B-52, you can certainly purchase it. Same with the bombs ($200 tax stamp on each one, though). Fighter jet, same thing. But the cannon has to be dismantled because of the 1986 machine gun ban. Everything else on it is kosher, if you can afford it (missiles are stupid expensive).

The hard part is finding military jets and weapons to purchase. And only a millionaire could reasonably afford to fly such a jet on even an occasional basis.

Don't forget you also need to file the paperwork and notify the ATF when you wish to cross state borders with your flying destructive device.
Crossing a state in a fast aircraft happens quite quickly.


I do recall a couple incidents of private people getting into trouble.
One guy purchased some Russian fighter aircraft, completely disarmed. I think he got into trouble based on some import export restrictions.
I believe another individual got into trouble purchasing an old Soviet nuclear powered submarine. It was also free of any weapons, it was the nuclear nature of the material required to run it that was the issue.



The ultimate extreme example...what is the specific law that bans ownership of a nuclear weapon by a civilian??

The primary laws are not on the nuclear weapon itself but on use and possession of nuclear material. Though there is treaties on the weapons and it really boils down to might equals right on that issue. A sovereign nation is unlikely to allow you to have one in their borders, and people may send a military force to kill you or destroy it or reactors and enrichment facilities involved if you try to make one even in international waters or within the borders of a nation that approves.
You need an army to back you up before you get started. Working in deep fortified underground bunkers not vulnerable to air dropped munitions doesn't hurt.
Then you need a lot of smoke and mirrors cloak and dagger secrecy so you can proceed with tests before you get attacked all while denying a nuclear weapon is your intention. Like say India or Pakistan did, or Iran and North Korea are doing. Once you have a bunch of working ones they tend not to attack you as the cat is out of the bag so to speak, but if they learn you are creating them then you and anyone working around them may end up dead, or kidnapped and tortured for information. Unofficially of course.

Nuclear weapons are not overly complicated themselves. There of course is trade secrets and it may take some tests to figure them out yourself.
Most modern nations could create them quite quickly.
The major limitation is not the technology to assemble them, but the enrichment of the material required. That enrichment process is more difficult.
Once enriched material is possessed the assembly of the device is the easy part.
Some of the older designed nuclear power plants created such enriched product as a byproduct of creating nuclear power.
Convenient by design.
Most modern nuclear power plant designs, or those allowed in 2nd and 3rd world nations, or created with international cooperation and sharing of technology tend to specifically be designed not to enrich material during normal operation into weapons grade material.
There is many different types of nuclear power plant.

That said there is private nuclear power plants, so there is legal ownership of the materials, even in the US. There is also various agencies tasked with keeping control of such things.
Such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, United States Department of Energy, as well as international bodies that monitor and track the use of such things.



Too much discussion of such subjects though can upset the wrong people and result in you being on lists that could inconvenience you.
Freedom of Speech and all that.

nelsonal
May 17, 2010, 03:38 PM
It may be a gross oversimplification, but the concept is sound. In fact, if my memory serves correctly, one of the first nuclear weapons was actually detonated by firing a slug of nuclear material at another mass of nuclear material down a gun barrel.
Two very different nuclear design schools. Uranium bombs are very easy to assemble the simplest designs shoot a slug at a larger mass of uranium, but acquiring the Uraniam is technically quite difficult (it requires large amounts of energy, and very specialized tools--mostly lots of centerfuges--you have to sort atoms out by weight). Plutonium bombs have easy to obtain (technically but very controlled legally) materials Plutonium is a waste product of all breeder reactor designs, but require an equal pressure wave to implode the plutonium to reach critical mass.

The difficulty in either design or materials acquisition are the main reasons that nuclear weapons haven't propogated beyond a few rich countries (N. Korea's bombs have nuclear but in terms of the intended yield fizzles (they're plutonium bombs) while Iran is still building the centrefuges necessary to refine the uranium down to the reactive sort.

Physics for Future Presidents (the name really should be Physics for Citizens) has an excellent discussion of why nuclear/dirty bombs are far more of a theoretical, rather than actual threat. Fossil fuels are easier to obtain on the scale that will do more distruction without requiring a small university of physists and engineers.

mustang_steve
May 21, 2010, 01:50 PM
Owning a nuke is not going to happen even is the BATFE said go ahead. Getting tritium to make my own night-sight paint proved to be absolutely impossible....and that's a far safer material.

The problem is NRC compliance.

il_10
May 21, 2010, 03:15 PM
Well, there's always the 101+ suitcase nukes that "went missing" from Russia in 96... I'm betting those are for sale somewhere.

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