How Will They Confiscate Your Guns?

by John A. Sutter

For decades I have heard gun owners claim that the government would never be able to confiscate our firearms because the government would lose too many men. The implication being, of course, that gun owners would actively resist confiscation, even to the point of shooting back. But I believe this thinking is outdated and doesn’t align very well with reality. But before you tell me how big your honor guard in Hell will be when that day comes, let’s think about how the government could really do it.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, the government bans all civilian possession of firearms at the end of this month. Congress passes a total ban and the President cuts his own re-election throat by signing it. Gun owners get some grace period to turn them in, even beyond the deadline, without being charged with a crime. If we use Australia and Britain as examples there will still be a significant number of firearms that are not turned in. Some estimates put the Australian turn-in at less than 25% and the British faired only about 28%. But Australians and the British have long been used to obeying almost every gun control law. Not so the Americans. When laws are passed that we don’t like, we bite. We scratch. We vote. So here we sit after the guns have been collected and the amnesties have run out. Now what? Send out the personnel carriers, swat and shock troops to seize the guns from those militia “terrorists” who refused to turn them in? Don’t be silly.

The government has lots of records about you. If you purchased a firearm since 1968, chances are that they have some record of it somewhere. Most likely, it will take quite some time for them to compile all the serial numbers of “surrendered” guns (surrendered essentially at gunpoint) and cross off the ones you turned in. It’ll take more time for them to attempt to “clean up” their data. Say, about two years, maybe three. Add to that the hordes of people keypunching in hundreds of thousands of sales and registration records from hundreds of gun stores forced out of business. At some point the government decides they have something approaching a “good” database of unaccounted-for guns.

The next thing you’ll get from the government is an official looking notice that they think you still have a firearm. Their information will probably include all the information from registration forms, right down to the serial number. That notice will tell you that you’re in violation of the law, subject to prosecution and imprisonment. It will give you some period of time to surrender the gun. It will also give you a very limited number of days to return the form with an explanation of why you don’t have the gun, any proof you have, and your signature that the gun was lawfully disposed of. For many people the idea that the government “knows” they didn’t turn in that pistol or rifle and they have the detailed information about it will be enough to get them to surrender the gun. Some people will ignore the letter, others will scrawl a note that “I sold this in 1982 in a private sale”. After some time, the government will figure out how many guns are still out there and what the “compliance rate” is with the gun ban. More importantly, they’ll start sorting their database by the number of guns someone supposedly has “unaccounted”.

If you think they’ll come at these multiple-gun owners with a swat team, guess again. Their most likely tactic will be yet another letter (maybe two more) that generate what they’ll call “insufficient responses”. That means they can’t track a gun after you owned it. This they’ll use as fodder for a search warrant and/or perjury charges at a later date if they can. My guess is that the time between April and August will be a bad time for a lot of “former” gun owners. Remember that the BATF is an arm of the Treasury department and they control the IRS. You’ll probably get a notice in the mail that the IRS has some questions about your taxes or wants to audit you. When you make the appointment to visit the IRS they will pass that information to the BATF. While you are sweating over your deductions, the BATF and local police will execute a search warrant and search your home looking for guns. With you safely off site and distracted, essentially forced into “the royal presence” of the IRS they will snag your guns. Expect them to use slow-scan and ground penetrating radar to search walls, yards, under the patio or deck, the basement, etc. You might even find your hot tub has been drained and moved. Yes, they’ll search your car in the IRS parking lot too.

If you are one of the those people they suspect of having multiple guns and they don’t find any guns at your home, expect them to find and search storage facilities, safety deposit boxes and other places you might use. Warn your relatives who live nearby that they can expect a visit too, even (or perhaps especially) if they never owned a gun. If they are thorough, I’d expect the government agents to check your neighbors to see which of them previously owned a gun and perhaps search their homes, arguing that your neighbor could have held your guns while agents searched your home. Remember that at this point the government authorities don’t have much to fear from the general population. And by the time your complaints are run through the mill, rejected and turned into lawsuits, they’ll have changed the rules.

But you only have one gun you say? Fine. They won’t come looking for it. But they will make sure that possession of ammunition is also a serious crime. Don’t leave any loose cartridges around and where will you hide that case of ammo you rushed out to buy? Expect any “gun parts” to be made illegal at some point in time too. Spare magazines, maybe even old cleaning kits. Anything that says “gun” will be interpreted as “probable cause” to search your entire home. Also expect that you can never use that gun without becoming a serious felon in the eyes of the government. Even if some thug has repeatedly stabbed you with a large knife and threatened to rape your six year old daughter, they won’t forgive you for having the gun. They may even give you extra penalties for using it to save your family. Especially if you are one of the first few hundred people caught this way, they will use you to “set an example”. This will cause people to “bury” their guns away in hiding places, making them all but useless. If the government does come to confiscate it, you won’t be able to get to it fast enough and they will probably find it.

You’ve moved several times since you bought a gun? Remember showing your ID when you bought a gun? Remember writing down your place of birth? Why do you think the government has so many computers? Linking you to your new driver’s license in another state shouldn’t be too hard. Besides, the Treasury folks know where you work. Think you’re safe because you had unregistered guns? Think again. I would expect that the government’s database will contain a lot of old data. Some of it might indicate that a gun was sold to a resident at your address. If they can tie you to ammo sales or range use with your credit card in the previous 2 years you might get a surprise visit. Or that seller might have remembered you bought that gun from him and filled out his gun notice to get “off the hook” for that gun.

The point of this article is that by thinking in limited terms of a “raid” to confiscate guns we lose sight of the alternative methods the government can use. Put yourself in the government’s position and think of your own methods to avoid a conflict. Meanwhile, let’s ensure that every gun owner votes for gun rights this year and the next. You can think of a thousand excuses not to vote, not to help a campaign, not to help another gun owner register to vote. I can think of one important reason to do all of those.



Anonymous said...

Bury 'em, you say? What would it take to make you dig 'em up?

Answering a similar question, rhetorically, Solzhenitzen asked his fellow commies in far away commie land after millions had been murdered by Stalin, "How many resisted?" and he answered, "None."
Commies here will not resist.
Whimper meekly to the Gulag.

Anonymous said...

The BATFE is no longer part of the IRS, but has been rolled into Justice. Not that it will change what much.

Axeanda45 said...

I call 100% bullshit, stupid article, none of it will happen, end of fantasy.

Sans Authoritas said...

A good post. A blueprint, one might say. But BATFE is under the Department of Justice.

-Sans Authoritas

GunRights4US said...

Just calling it BS is too easy Axeanda45. What specifically makes this a fantasy?

Did it MY way said...

If it comes to that I will be one of the Free Americans that will resist. They may carry me out in a body bag. But I will not give up my guns, and I WILL shoot the first one that tries to take them.

chinasyndrome said...

Excellent post! Bullshit huh? I guess Axe hasn't noticed ever increasing gun laws. I think a lot of badass Kill me before you get mine is talk. I thhink stealh and common sense would be more effective,yeah. Ya got me thinking.

Axeanda45 said...

China, yes, I call bullshit. The author is very obviously one of those people who obey all these gun laws without question. They are projecting their own cowardice onto everyone else. They are only writing what they would do if confronted. There are way, way more gun owners who WILL NOT DISARM!!!!!!

Once it comes down to it, there will be lots of treasonous scum cops and such dead in the streets and in the doorways.
Just come by my house or stop me on the street and try it, you wont like what happens to you, I promise to Almighty God you wont be breathing much longer if you try. Yes, I will probably die, hopefully, I will take some of them with me.
Will the cops or whoever keep trying after they lose more and more each day like this? We outnumber them by millions. Articles like this only help the bad guys/confiscators. It beats down gun owners and makes them lose courage and think it is hopeless.

Stop licking the boots of these so called lawmakers and enforcers and get back to being the free man the Constitution affirms you are.

GunRights4US said...

I dunno. I didn't get that impression from the author. His description of a slow squeeze rather than a sudden clampdown really resonated with me.

Personally, I have no intention of fighting them on my doorstep. That's suicide. But I also have no intention of submitting either! All I feel comfortable saying is: Read Sun Tzu's Art of War.

Anonymous said...

Registered? They have your info.
Unregistered? They can still find you, if you are not careful. I bought a pistol in a private transaction from an acquaintance 15 years ago. Got a call from the FBI wanting to see it. They tracked it down by finding out I had bought a replacement part through a mail order catalog. Only two people on the planet knew that I had bought the gun, but the gubmint found out about it.

GunRights4US said...

"Anonymous said...
The BATFE is no longer part of the IRS, but has been rolled into Justice. Not that it will change what much."

The author isn't saying BATF is a part of the IRS. He's saying that BATF and IRS are both agencies within the inJustice Department - sister agencies as it were.

I drive my tractor in pearls... said...

I think it would be easier to just pass health legislation and since guns can have an adverse affect on health, it will automatically require a higher premium.

People will get rid of the guns to avoid the higher $$ hit. The only way to avoid the hit is to be able to proove you got rid of the gun or turned it in.

It would be easier and cheaper than to go through the legal procedure and search homes.

People would basically be selling their gun ownership rights - and they would be selling them cheap.

Just my opinion - Pearls

Anonymous said...

Come on, I think this author is part of the self-licking ice cream cone that thinks that the .gov is actively planning a head-on confrontation with them. I call BULLSHIT on peaceful voting-type recourse lasting two or three years if there is a "gun ban," while .gov "gets there paperwork together" to come after your guns. GET REAL! Think tactically, WOULD YOU pick a fight with already pissed off gunowners and go toe to toe with them, if YOU were in charge? You will be too worried about your family being attacked by looters when the economic collapse comes and dem welfare checks stop. Please get your heads out of your asses and start making plans for securing you and yours if/until order is restored.

Broadsword said...

Where in this short essay are descriptions of proactive acts by citizens upon the unlawful authorities? Without at least some possibles,likelys, could happen and probables, the article remains one dimensional. Would cars with ar-15's in their trunks be broken into and torched? Would certain egregious agents have their names and addresses made more public? John Ross's book Unintended Consequences is worth a read.

Anonymous said...

WHO , are they going to KEEP SENDING OUT to confiscate guns WHEN THE FIRST GROUPS DON'T COME BACK ANY MORE ???

Anonymous said...

The populace of the United States is the most heavily armed population in the world with 100,000,000+ armed! My analysis of this article is if confiscation began in earnest it would no doubt turn into gurella warfare at some point which would go on for decades. We the people have a 'cause', the defense of our freedoms for which we will fight and die for. What cause does the government have that they are willing to die for?