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Is there an actual law that says a private citizen cannot own a nuke?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jlbraun, May 3, 2007.

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  1. jlbraun

    jlbraun Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is. I simply think that if the sole legal owner (the US .gov) sold it to you, there would be technically no law broken provided you paid the tax.

    I can imagine the Form 4:

    I can see the NFA department mailroom clerk now... "Uh, boss?" :what:

    (Note to the NSA: I have no intention to acquire or use a nuclear weapon. I do not own one. I do not have space in the safe anyway)
  2. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    I seem to recall that there is a Utah state law that forbids you to detonate a nuke here, but nothing against possessing one.

    Whaling is also illegal here too. :p
  3. budney

    budney member

    There are Supreme Court rulings effectively asserting that the 2nd Amendment doesn't grant a right to keep and bear nukes.

    This topic comes up regularly on the Austrian Economics Forum, which is populated with libertarians and anarcho-capitalists (I'm a mod there). The overall answer is that in a completely free society, using a nuke would be a crime, but having one would not.

    However, there are other ways to discourage your neighbor from buying a nuke than criminal proceedings. For starters, his home-owner's insurance company would drop him like a hot rock. Everyone on the street will shun him. Business owners in town will refuse to do business with him--which includes utilities, roads, groceries and doctors. In the end he'll either get rid of it or move somewhere else.

    Nothing would stop him from homesteading an area large enough to build his own nuclear testing ground, but in that case who cares if he likes to make big kabooms in his own yard? Of course he'd be responsible to keep fallout, etc., off the neighbors' land.

  4. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 Well-Known Member

    "using a nuke would be a crime, but having one would not."

    Um. If you are using a nuke on someone I think criminal charges would be the last thing on your mind.
  5. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Well-Known Member

    The ultimate one-shot stopper:evil:
  6. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Well-Known Member

    The possession of special nuclear materials is HEAVILY regulated by the US gov't. Beyond that, the explosive element and mechanism that initiates the reaction is regulated as a destructive device.

    So, there are a combination of laws that prohibit nuclear weapons ownership.
  7. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    I think if a private citizen ever detonated a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere, he'd have lots more problems than local law enforcement.

    That said, anyone who actually wanted to own a nuclear weapon would be doing themselves a favour by not telling anyone about it.

    Besides, it's not like nukes are maintenance-free. Unless you're a nuclear engineer and can keep it adjusted/maintained, the nuke would become a large paper weight within 10 years' time (and more than likely within 3).
  8. budney

    budney member

    Well, yeah--but that's equally true today. The point is that ownership of nukes is not in and of itself criminal on the one hand, and it's perfectly possible for a free society to deter ownership of nukes on the other hand.

    The problem with letting the government regulate nukes is that they don't seem to hesitate in granting themselves a waiver. If anyone shouldn't have nukes, it's the government. :neener:

    Exactly. The biggest deterrent to getting nukes, beside their uselessness for any practical purpose, is their tremendous cost.

  9. Roadwild17

    Roadwild17 Well-Known Member

    I would love to just have the shell of one of the fat man bombs :neener: .
  10. DogBonz

    DogBonz Well-Known Member

    Just Maybe

    You could sneek it in under the radar as a "class A firework"... You know, for your 4th of july BBQ.:p
  11. Sure go right ahead and acquire one, you think that your local SWAT Teams raids can get out of hand. Let us know how the Delta Force raid goes... :D
  12. Imagine the howling from the Glock crowd when you experienced your first AD. :evil:
  13. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Well-Known Member

    think i'd put a phase plasma rifle (in the 40 watt range) at the top of my shopping list before i'd ask for a nuke.
  14. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Well-Known Member

    C'mon, now. They don't send Delta when somebody's already got a nuke built. They send Chuck Norris.
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    You can legally have everything but the strategic special nuclear material. Think of it as not being allowed to have the powder in the bullets.

    That's covered under the Atomic Energy Act.
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  16. Smurfslayer

    Smurfslayer Well-Known Member

    I think there is a ruling

    which says that you cannot manufacture a device which initiates more than one nuclear blast with only one continuous push of the button.:neener:
  17. PPGMD

    PPGMD Well-Known Member

    Pft, I got one that is grandfathered in. :what:

    :neener: :evil:
  18. Outlaws

    Outlaws Well-Known Member

    Would an A-Bomb or H-Bomb be better for a zombie horde?
  19. Daniel T

    Daniel T Well-Known Member

    I didn't check for specifics, but the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty might have something to say about it. :)
  20. seeker_two

    seeker_two Well-Known Member

    Me too. I'd build a derreck-type tower in the front yard and suspend it from a cable with a large sign on the base saying "No Tresspassing---I REALLY MEAN IT!!!"

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