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Is it possible to own a fully functional tank?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Regolith, Nov 15, 2007.

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  1. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    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?
     
  2. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Member

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    What caliber for Panzers?
     
  3. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    All things are possible with enough paperwork and money. Also depends upon what you mean by "fully operational tank"
     
  4. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    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
     
  5. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    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.

    That's what I thought.

    Main battle tank, circa 1868. :D
     
  6. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    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
     
  7. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    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)
     
  8. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    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.
     
  9. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    Yes, but I don't think you could drive it on a public road without being guilty of brandishing a gun.
     
  10. K3

    K3 Member

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    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
     
  11. Clean97GTI

    Clean97GTI Member

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    They may not like you brandishing a gun, but who's gonna tell you to stop? ;)
     
  12. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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  13. Crunker1337

    Crunker1337 Member

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    If the ammunition is not explosive, I don't think it needs to be registered.
     
  14. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    Whats the reloading cost per round? Who makes those primers? Things to consider.
     
  15. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    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!
     
  16. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    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.
     
  17. siglite

    siglite Member

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    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.
     
  18. Franksterm1

    Franksterm1 Member

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    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.
     
  19. Dave in PA

    Dave in PA Member

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    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.......
     
  20. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    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.
     
  21. PTK

    PTK Member

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    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
     
  22. canopy2k

    canopy2k Member

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    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

    [​IMG]
    (image courtesy of G_T from another board)
    c2k
     
  23. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    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.
     
  24. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    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.

    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  25. xjchief

    xjchief Member

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    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
     
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