Is it possible to own a fully functional tank?


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Regolith
November 15, 2007, 06:48 PM
The debate over what exactly constitutes "arms" in the second amendment has brought me to this question. Some say "arms" are only those suitable for light infantry or squad-based unit tactics (i.e. man portable light machine guns, heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, etc). Others contend that it means anything, up to and including nuclear arms.

Which brings me to the question posed in the title.

Now, I do know that you can legally own a tank, so long as its main guns are not operational. However, could the functional main guns be registered as a destructive device? I understand that one can own a grenade launcher, so long as the launcher and each shell is registered as a DD. Would this be the case with the tank? Could an individual, who went through the process, legally register a tank and its munitions as DD's and thus have a fully functional main battle tank?

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41magsnub
November 15, 2007, 06:51 PM
What caliber for Panzers?

Titan6
November 15, 2007, 06:53 PM
All things are possible with enough paperwork and money. Also depends upon what you mean by "fully operational tank"

Chipperman
November 15, 2007, 06:53 PM
However, could the functional main guns be registered as a destructive device?
Yes, and each round of ammo.

If you made the main gun a muzzle-loader, you would not even need to register it as a DD. You could also have a Gatling gun on top without any NFA paperwork.

That would be something to see. :D

Regolith
November 15, 2007, 06:59 PM
Also depends upon what you mean by "fully operational tank"

As in, is in the same condition as when it was used for military service. The main gun would be able to be fired, the machine guns are fully functional, etc.

Yes, and each round of ammo.

That's what I thought.

If you made the main gun a muzzle-loader, you would not even need to register it as a DD. You could also have a Gatling gun on top without any NFA paperwork.

That would be something to see.

Main battle tank, circa 1868. :D

Owen Sparks
November 15, 2007, 07:08 PM
A man in my town has a functional Sherman tank and several other museum pices in full working order. The only exception is that the cannon is welded up and non functional.

OS

Titan6
November 15, 2007, 07:34 PM
You could also mount a M2 Machine Gun as on an M1A1 tank. Assuming you could find one for sale and afford it (and is legal in Oregon)

Regolith
November 15, 2007, 07:51 PM
You could also mount a M2 Machine Gun as on an M1A1 tank. Assuming you could find one for sale and afford it (and is legal in Oregon)

Heh. I'm a poor college student. I can't afford an SKS at the moment, let alone a tank. :p

This was merely a hypothetical, brought on by a current discussion in the General forums. I had thought previously it might be legal, but I wasn't sure.

yesit'sloaded
November 15, 2007, 08:09 PM
Yes, but I don't think you could drive it on a public road without being guilty of brandishing a gun.

K3
November 15, 2007, 08:14 PM
Yes, but I don't think you could drive it on a public road without being guilty of brandishing a gun.

Depending upon which tank, the weight may get you on bridges, and heaven help you if your treads start crunching up asphalt. You state DOT will be all over you. Of course, 1 ton trucks with a DOT logo aren't much good against a tank. :D

I like the movie 'Tank' with James Garner. That one was a fully functional Sherman. He kept it stored at an army base but had to leave for personal reasons. :D

Clean97GTI
November 15, 2007, 08:16 PM
They may not like you brandishing a gun, but who's gonna tell you to stop? ;)

yesit'sloaded
November 15, 2007, 08:23 PM
Remember that time that crazy guy stole the tank from the national guard and went on a rampage? I do. Now you can too. http://youtube.com/watch?v=PVWgWqSf_d0

Crunker1337
November 15, 2007, 09:16 PM
If the ammunition is not explosive, I don't think it needs to be registered.

yesit'sloaded
November 15, 2007, 09:24 PM
Whats the reloading cost per round? Who makes those primers? Things to consider.

Prince Yamato
November 15, 2007, 09:34 PM
Since you can legally OC DDs in Texas, I'd presume you could own and operate a fully functional tank. Man.. I'd love to drive THAT down 6th St. in Austin on a Friday night. Imagine the chicks I could pick up!

yesit'sloaded
November 15, 2007, 09:53 PM
Not many, from the ones I have been in. Only the Bradley (which isn't really a "tank") had enough room to be called something like comfortable. The other ones were all sweat boxes on treads.

siglite
November 15, 2007, 10:08 PM
I'm pretty sure it's illegal in WV to discharge a firearm from a vehicle. Dunno if a 120mm counts as a ... "firearm" per se... I don't recall anything in the state code about discharging destructive devices from vehicles.

I'm thinkin' though, that my range might kick me out if I vaporized the 300m backstop.

Franksterm1
November 15, 2007, 10:24 PM
I got pull over by the Philadelphia Highway patrol back in the late 80's for driving an M60A3 on the Schuylkill Expressway without an escort. The escort was late and we were doing a parade at Independence Hall. When the LEO got out of his car and started walking up to the tank I pointed up to the squadron commander, (a light colonel) in the TC's position and dropped my seat down and closed my hatch while listening to the heated conversation over the intercom. After about a 10 minute discussion the LEO offered to escort us himself.

Even if I won the lottery I don't think I'd want to own one though. About 8 hours of maintenance for each hour you run them.

Dave in PA
November 15, 2007, 10:32 PM
I'd rather have a ferret or some other armored car type vehicle. Much less expensive and can reach near highway speeds. And you can probably install a 20mm rifle in it much cheaper that a 120mm cannon.......

P5 Guy
November 15, 2007, 10:33 PM
I remember reading that John DuPont, the DuPont that killed Dave Schultz the olympic wrestler, had a Bradley that he drove around his property in Delaware. I don't know if the cannon was dewatted or not.

PTK
November 15, 2007, 10:39 PM
Short answer, as many have said, yes.

Long answer - if you have the money to do it, you probably didn't need to ask permission. :D

canopy2k
November 15, 2007, 10:51 PM
There's a guy that brings one to Big Sandy with a live gun. Its a real tank, by any definition of the word.

M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f34/canopy2k/P1010155.jpg
(image courtesy of G_T from another board)
c2k

mp510
November 15, 2007, 11:05 PM
Yes, and each round of ammo.
Only if the ammunition has an HE Projectile, containing a charge of over a certain amount of HE. Inert projectiler ammunition for DD's, like 40mm buckshot or chalk rounds, do not need a $200 stamp per round.

Zoogster
November 16, 2007, 12:00 AM
Yes it can be done and it is done. As people have mentioned there is a number of people in the nation that own private tanks and armored vehicles with mounted weaponry.

Even if I won the lottery I don't think I'd want to own one though. About 8 hours of maintenance for each hour you run them.
It is even worse for the attack choppers that people privately own.
The privately owned military jet aircraft are probably not that great either.

I seem to recall the helos having the highest maintainence hours per hour of use though. That maintainence time is also calculated based on a team of professional crew. You and a friend would take quite a bit longer :neener:

Most such privately owned things are purchased by companies who can afford them. A few years of maintainence can cost a large percentage of the initial aircraft cost if it is used often.
However such things are privately owned.

xjchief
November 16, 2007, 12:13 AM
When I was school in the mid 90's I had to take aviation law as part of my degree. For my final paper I was going to argue that a person should be allowed to own and operate a fully restored vintage military plane (P-51, ect) including the guns. A call to the FAA revealed that they didn't care and it was fine with them as long as aircraft had all the paper work in order like equipment list, weight and balance, ect so I called the BATF and asked them. They said they were fine with it as long as the guns were licensed properly. The agent said the only real problem would be flying the plane across state lines and having to comply with all the different laws and paperwork. That pretty much ended my argument and I had to write a paper about something else. :D

Big Boomer
November 16, 2007, 12:45 AM
I remember back in the day they used to sell used ones (don't remember the model) in shotgun news for about $40,000

mekender
November 16, 2007, 12:08 PM
back about 10 or so years ago, the Russians put up fully functional Kilo and Victor class submarines for auction for like $12 billion each... i always thought how much fun that would be to pull one of those into the local port with the ole jolly roger hoisted high... though id imagine that the USCG and USN would have a **** fit.... oh and for $12 billion, it came with a 30 man crew that would teach you how to use it

MiddleAgedKen
November 16, 2007, 02:53 PM
Questions of practicality aside, in my view things like armored fighting vehicles and military aircraft are, when you get right down to it, horse artillery...

...and therefore ought to be legal for private ownership by any law-abiding citizens who can afford to do so. If it was good enough for Sam Adams and John Hancock....

kurtmax
November 16, 2007, 06:13 PM
I wouldn't want to buy a tank if I had the money. Something like a LAV-25 would be more practical imo. Someone should be able to own a tank if they can afford it though..

mekender
November 16, 2007, 06:44 PM
those new strykers are amazing, id want one of those... have to park it next to my abrams though... :-D

OEF_VET
November 16, 2007, 07:06 PM
Once the folks in charge of the PowerBall lottery smarten up and rig a drawing so that I win, I'll let y'all take rides in the tanks I'll be buying.

You've got to provide your own 105mm and 120mm ammo, though.

Novus Collectus
November 16, 2007, 08:23 PM
I am sure in my state it is legal to own a machine gun, a tank and a cannon and even allowed to have them all together, however, a loaded machine gun on any vehicle might violate hunting laws in my state. (a loaded smoothbore cannon is questionable since the hunting laws only address loaded shotguns, handguns and rifles and says nothing about cannons) :cool:

heineken42069
November 16, 2007, 08:26 PM
if you have enough money and get the proper tax stamps then in certain states, yes

Novus Collectus
November 16, 2007, 08:26 PM
back about 10 or so years ago, the Russians put up fully functional Kilo and Victor class submarines for auction for like $12 billion each... i always thought how much fun that would be to pull one of those into the local port with the ole jolly roger hoisted high... though id imagine that the USCG and USN would have a **** fit.... oh and for $12 billion, it came with a 30 man crew that would teach you how to use itYOu can import it if you fill out a Form 6 part I. The armament may require their own forms and involve an importer FFL.

Cosmoline
November 16, 2007, 08:35 PM
Not many, from the ones I have been in. Only the Bradley (which isn't really a "tank") had enough room to be called something like comfortable. The other ones were all sweat boxes on treads.

I poked my head inside some vintage tanks and other military transports from the WWII era and was amazed at how tiny the crew spaces were. My BOOTS wouldn't fit in the space they had alloted for a man. Seriously! The guys must have been little tiny 5'5" fellows with no body fat. There's no way an average 6' modern American could fit in those spaces.

armoredman
November 16, 2007, 09:14 PM
What caliber for Panzers?
The German 75mm cannon is listed as a Curio and Relic weapon...so if you can find one of the very few Panzer IVs left, AND could pay everything to get it working, yes, with the right paperwork, and your state allows it. I saw a German Hetzer tank destroyer for sale in Ohio several years ago, fully operational 75mm main gun, fully functional MG42 coax and commanders' machine guns, fully restored an 100% operational...a mere $115,000. I don't beleive that included shipping.
Also, I have been told that any US made armored vehicle is still considered to be property of the US, and can be recalled back into service. Disremember exactly where I heard that.
Novus Collectus, a guy tried that, bought a Russian sub, sailed it in, was arrested for unlicensed nuclear reactor. Whoops.

Novus Collectus
November 16, 2007, 09:38 PM
Also, I have been told that any US made armored vehicle is still considered to be property of the US, and can be recalled back into service. Disremember exactly where I heard that.
If it was sold as demilled and then remanufactured to origional configuration, then I don't think that applies.

Novus Collectus, a guy tried that, bought a Russian sub, sailed it in, was arrested for unlicensed nuclear reactor. Whoops. Nuclear reactors subs are also a Form 6 part I as I read it. CATEGORY XX—SUBMERSIBLE
VESSELS, OCEANOGRAPHIC AND
ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT
(a) Submersible vessels, manned
and unmanned, designed or modified
for military purposes or having independent
capability to maneuver vertically
or horizontally at depths below
1,000 feet, or powered by nuclear
propulsion plants.
(b) Submersible vessels, manned
or unmanned, designed or modified in
whole or in part from technology developed
by or for the U.S. Armed
Forces.
(c) Any of the articles in Category
VI and elsewhere in this part specifically
designed or modified for use
with submersible vessels, and
oceanographic or associated equipment
assigned a military designation.
(d) Equipment, components, parts,
accessories, and attachments specifically
designed for any of the articles
in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this category. § 447.42 Application for permit.
(a)(1) Persons required to obtain
a permit as provided in §447.41 must
file a Form 6—Part I. The application
must be signed and dated and must
contain the information requested on
the form, including:
(i) The name, address, telephone
number, license and
registration number, if any (including
expiration date) of the
importer;
(ii) The country from which
the defense article is to be imported;
(iii) The name and address
of the foreign seller and foreign
shipper;
(iv) A description of the defense
article to be imported,
including—
(A) The name and address of
the manufacturer;
(B) The type (e.g., rifle, shotgun,
pistol, revolver, aircraft,
vessel, and in the case of ammunition
only, ball, wadcutter,
shot, etc.);
(C) The caliber, gauge, or
size;
(D) The model;
(E) The length of barrel, if any
in inches);
(F) The overall length, if a firearm
(in inches);
(G) The serial number,
known;
(H) Whether the defense article
is new or used;
(I) The quantity;
(J) The unit cost of the firearm,
firearm barrel, ammunition,
or other defense article to be imported;
(K) The category of U.S. Munitions
Import List under which
the article is regulated;
(v) The specific purpose of
importation, including final recipient
information if different
from the importer; and
(vi) Certification of origin.
2)(i) If the appropriate ATF officer
approves the application, such
approved application will serve as
permit to import the defense article
described therein, and importation
of such defense article may
continue to be made by the licensed/
registered importer (if applicable)
under the approved
application (permit) during the period
specified thereon. The appropriate
ATF officer will furnish the
approved application (permit) to the
applicant and retain two copies
thereof for administrative use.
(ii) If the Director disapproves
the application, the licensed/
registered importer (
applicable) will be notified of
the basis for the disapproval.
For additional requirements relating
to the importation of plastic
explosives into the United States on
after April 24, 1997, see §_555.183
title. http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/2005/p53004/27cfr_part447.pdf

1 old 0311
November 16, 2007, 11:15 PM
There is a guy in Indiana with 20-30 tanks. He rents them to movie producers. I think he is in Indy.

BRASSM
November 17, 2007, 01:24 AM
There are several military collectors vehicle clubs around. You can leagally own a demiliterized armored fighting vehicle. But you probably can not operate it on public thouroughfares. The tracks will definetely accelerate the wear on your street, you probably will obstruct traffic, and have you seen the price of fuel lately. The older vehicles used high test gasoline, the newer ones run on diesel. A semi-auto Ma Duece is not hard to come by. Converting the main gun to be a muzzle loader will probably not earn you a visit from BATF, but the fire marshall will probably have a few things to say. Remember when a tank takes a hit it burns for a day or so.
Then think of the insurance...

rmgill
November 17, 2007, 04:29 AM
I have always thought of it this way.

Back in the early Days of the Republic, private individuals owned cannons, ships and private warships could be built, owned and commissioned. Privateers were just that, privately owned and run ships. You could bombard a small town with one on the coast and pretty much had the most powerful single unit/technology of the time in the hands of a private individual.

I would say that any one of us would have a hard time leaping to the aspect of owning nukes given their issues. Though, I would point out that private contractors can get the correct permits to possess them for construction/research purposes (You don't think it's JUST federal departments?) so there is a path, that's just incredibly circuitous and exorbitantly expensive to possessing even something like a nuke with the Federal Government's permission.

I don't see this ever being an issue and I'm quite happy with the idea of warships and land/aircraft being the general high point of privately owned items of war.

Ryan

Owner of 3 armored cars...wishing the FN Mag were cheaper than the car was.

fivepaknh
November 17, 2007, 04:47 AM
I've driven M113's and Bradleys a lot. In battle I'd of course prefer a Bradley, but for pure fun in driving I'd take an M113 any day. An M577 would be even better. More head room, even standing room for passengers in an M577. Take all the military crap out of the back and make it into an off road RV. If you have the money to buy it, then you have the money to modify it.

Jdude
November 17, 2007, 04:51 AM
Relating to the thread

http://www.tanks2go.com/for_sale/sale.htm
http://www.armyjeeps.net/vehicle1.htm
http://www.tanksforsale.co.uk/Tanks_Trucks_Jeeps_for_sale.htm
http://www.arm-soft.com/sales%20armour.htm

Odd Job
November 17, 2007, 05:08 AM
Here is a guy who drives one around town here in the UK. (He had to add rubber tracks though):

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/10/tank091006_700x526.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html%3Fin_article_id%3D409518%26in_page_id%3D1770%26in_page_id%3D1770%26expand%3Dtrue&h=526&w=700&sz=90&hl=en&start=9&um=1&tbnid=2W7ekzVAI-wQUM:&tbnh=105&tbnw=140&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddrive%2Btank%2Blondon%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff

fivepaknh
November 17, 2007, 05:39 AM
Here is a guy who drives one around town here in the UK. (He had to add rubber tracks though):

I know most if not all armored vehicles come with rubber track pads. Unless you're really tearing it up you're not going to hurt the roads as long and the track pads are in good shape.

fivepaknh
November 17, 2007, 05:42 AM
Remember that time that crazy guy stole the tank from the national guard and went on a rampage? I do. Now you can too. http://youtube.com/watch?v=PVWgWqSf_d0

I remeber that. He got coaght up on a Jersey barrier. I approached it wrong and threw a track. The cops pried open his hatch and rightfully shot him dead.

stephpd
November 17, 2007, 07:53 AM
One of my friends dad had a working one man tank. The town didn't like him taking it out on the road because the tracks tore up the blacktop. But they let him ride it in the Veteran's Day Parade. Would end at the cemetary and he would shoot blanks into the air. Everybody thought it was the best part of the parade.

Not sue if he had live ammo but I know he would reload the shells for the blanks.:D

Wes Janson
November 17, 2007, 10:33 PM
I think one of the best options going is probably the Ferret scout car...someday once I've got a real job and some money, I think I might consider dropping $15k for one.

jefnvk
November 17, 2007, 11:54 PM
The German 75mm cannon is listed as a Curio and Relic weapon...so if you can find one of the very few Panzer IVs left, AND could pay everything to get it working, yes, with the right paperwork, and your state allows it. I saw a German Hetzer tank destroyer for sale in Ohio several years ago, fully operational 75mm main gun, fully functional MG42 coax and commanders' machine guns, fully restored an 100% operational...a mere $115,000. I don't beleive that included shipping.


Considering what GT500's and Charger Daytonas are going for, thats a bargain.

back about 10 or so years ago, the Russians put up fully functional Kilo and Victor class submarines for auction for like $12 billion each... i always thought how much fun that would be to pull one of those into the local port with the ole jolly roger hoisted high... though id imagine that the USCG and USN would have a **** fit.... oh and for $12 billion, it came with a 30 man crew that would teach you how to use it

YOu can import it if you fill out a Form 6 part I. The armament may require their own forms and involve an importer FFL.

Why not just register it under the Russian flag?

oneshooter
November 18, 2007, 11:19 AM
One of my clients in the Austin, Texas area has a fully armed Stuart tank, a Super Sherman that is being rebuilt(the engine is blown) and a M4 Halftrack with a working quad 50! The 50's are full auto and use 1000rd "headstone" drums. he also has a shoulder fired 20mm AT, a 303cal Gatling, and a 577/450 Maxim MG.


He has a LOT of spare cash, 4 gas wells and a couple of oil wells!

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas






PS He called yesterday, and wants me to find him a Ferret!

JohnL2
November 18, 2007, 01:13 PM
Eccentrics with armored vehicles. Ha.

When I was in the Army, I thought the coolest vehicle the brigade had was the M113 mounted with a 20mm Vulcan anti-aircraft gun. Of course you can engage ground level targets too.
Unfortunately, I think they were all scrapped or phased out in favor of missile defense systems.
One of the most bizarre places I've ever slept in was the turret floor of a Bradley fighting vehicle. The heat wafting from the batteries under the floor was too nice to not try it on that cold miserable night.
I also slept under the TOW missile launcher. Nice little flat area there. Just make sure you tell the mounted crew not to drop the thing in the morning.

Mojo-jo-jo
November 18, 2007, 03:07 PM
Here's one. I hear that the guy that owns this found the bottom hull in Israel; it was being used as a burn bin at an IDF ammo dump. I don't recall where the turret came from. He and some friends did the restoration themselves--he has experience in industrial metal fabrication.

http://www.3rdarmored.com/sherman_tank.htm
http://www.3rdarmored.com/shermannew1.jpg

All of his weapons are as-issued spec, including the main gun (DD paperwork) and full-auto M2 with blank adapter. He fires blank rounds in both for re-enactments. No propane guns here!

He also has several other military vehicles.

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