Help me out with my 2A essay, please. DD's before NFA,1934


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axxxel
September 16, 2013, 01:10 PM
Hello,

I'm doing a course of sorts and I am currently working on my final essay. Being in Sweden the second amendment isn't exactly home ground, and while writing this I've had a few questions popping up that I couldn't handle with Google.

Before the NFA of 1934, what restrictions were there on private ownership of artillery pieces? Basically, what could the military have that the people could not?

Please don't tell me to look it up in my course literature, there is none, although I'm about to write a summary of "More Guns Less Crime". Any input on the brawly aftermath of that book is appreciated. The fact that Buchanan and Friedman both backed up the book should be a good thing.

Thank you.

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medalguy
September 16, 2013, 03:39 PM
I have owned a couple of pieces of artillery in the past. I don't believe there were any restrictions on owning those prior to 1968, when I had to register the two pieces I owned at that time. In 1966 I pulled a 25mm field piece from Virginia to South Carolina behind my car. :)

Of course the military can own whatever they want. Who's going to tell them they can't have something?

axxxel
September 16, 2013, 03:55 PM
I have owned a couple of pieces of artillery in the past. I don't believe there were any restrictions on owning those prior to 1968, when I had to register the two pieces I owned at that time. In 1966 I pulled a 25mm field piece from Virginia to South Carolina behind my car. :)

Of course the military can own whatever they want. Who's going to tell them they can't have something?
That sounds really cool, but you couldn't legally own unregistered ammunition for that field piece, right? As I understand it, artillery ammunition became practically illegal in 1934, but was completely legal before that. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Midwest
September 16, 2013, 04:19 PM
Maybe this should go into the NFA section?

Midwest
September 16, 2013, 04:23 PM
That sounds really cool, but you couldn't legally own unregistered ammunition for that field piece, right? As I understand it, artillery ammunition became practically illegal in 1934, but was completely legal before that. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
This was sold by mail order before 1968.

http://www.rifleman.org.uk/Images/Boys%20ATR%20Ad%202.gif

Telekinesis
September 16, 2013, 04:34 PM
IIRC the category of destructive device was added to the NFA in 1968. Before that, there was no federal regulation.

Edit: I could be mistaken, see below.

axxxel
September 16, 2013, 04:39 PM
So in 1965 a hand grenade was as regulated as a bath tub?

Telekinesis
September 16, 2013, 04:46 PM
Hmm, good point. It might have been that explosive ordinance was regulated in 1934 under the DD classification and the weapons themselves (canons/rifles with bores larger than .5") were added in '68? I do believe that explosives as a class are regulated separately from the NFA as well, but I don't know enough about those regs to be able to explain them.

axxxel
September 16, 2013, 05:07 PM
Thank you all for your inputs! It's bedtime in Sweden now.

we are not amused
September 16, 2013, 05:18 PM
While there might have been State laws about what weapons a person could own, there were no Federal Limits as to what could be owned. Artillery, crew served machine guns, tanks, planes, explosives in general.

To this day, you might be surprised as to what in the way of artillery is still legal. Shells to fire out of them might be restricted as to explosive content.

AlexanderA
September 16, 2013, 06:44 PM
Destructive Devices weren't regulated under the NFA, as a category, until 1968. The main barriers to ownership, up until that time, were state and local laws, and economic considerations. Plus, the government wasn't releasing artillery pieces as surplus, and it was impractical for veterans to bring back full-sized artillery pieces as souvenirs.

Keep in mind that DD's weren't covered by the Hughes Amendment moratorium of 1986 -- that applied only to the narrow category of machine guns. Theoretically, even today, if you could find a seller, you could buy new artillery and high explosive shells, paying a $200 transfer tax on each one. The problem is that the defense industry won't sell such items to people that are not the military.

AlexanderA
September 16, 2013, 06:53 PM
BTW, the Boys Antitank Rifle, in the ad, was obsolete even by WWII standards. I was of age before 1968, I saw the ads in the American Rifleman and elsewhere, and I wasn't tempted. This was an ungainly, ugly duckling of a gun.

medalguy
September 17, 2013, 11:44 PM
I bought a French Hotchkiss 25mm from Interarms in Alexandria and hauled it back to South Carolina on I-95. Sure did get a few strange looks but that was back in 1965 I think and no one was terribly concerned about war surplus stuff at that time. Never did have any ammo for it although it was around.

I also has two Boys rifles, one in .55 and one converted to .50 BMG with a Browning aircraft barrel. Man was that fun to shoot. The progenitor to the Barrett.

BTW any artillery or ordnance that is muzzle loaded is perfectly legal from a federal point of view. I once had a 60mm M2 mortar that had the breech drilled for black powder loading, and it had no federal restrictions at all.

mboylan
September 19, 2013, 01:07 PM
The big barrier to high explosive devices/shells are explosive licenses and approved storage facilities. The industry doesn't sell to private individuals. That's why they have been practically impossible to obtain even with the $200 tax.

medalguy
September 19, 2013, 04:00 PM
True but the OP is asking about pre-1934 and the changes since then. Really there were no restrictions on DDs prior to 1968 per federal law.

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