Alien, in the comments to today’s QOTD asks :
I’m curious … at what point do you think this boils over into real activity which must be accommodated?
For all practical purposes we know the answer to this.
In September 1994 with a Democrat controlled congress, senate, and presidency they passed the “Assault Weapon Ban”. Even though they knew it would do little or nothing for public safety it was important for reasons they “dare not enunciate”. There was much rejoicing and they almost immediately boldly announced the next step and began to push their bill (actual bill is here for safekeeping) which had actually been written months earlier.
It included “arsenal” licensing, licensing of all handgun buyers, registration of all handguns, oppressive taxes on handguns and ammunition, maximum magazine capacity of six rounds, and more.
David Kopel explained the handgun licensing scheme:
Every handgun buyer would be required to obtain a state handgun license. The license would be good for no more than two years. No-one could obtain a license without passing a state-controlled “safety” course. The fees for the license and the safety course would have no limits. The fees could be set far in excess of the state cost of providing the license and the course; instead, the fees could a source of general revenue.
Nothing would prevent licensing authorities from taking months or years to issue a license. And nothing would prevent the authorities from making the “safety” test so rigorous that almost no-one except an expert shooter could pass.
That an applicant had been shooting handguns for 50 years, or was an NRA certified safety instructor, or a proficient competitive target shooter would not exempt him from the requirement to pay for the government “safety” class.
Every handgun transfer (including one’s adult son an old revolver) would be subject to these restrictions. In addition, every handgun transferred would have to be registered by make and serial number.
Of course the point of the registration was for the confiscation which was to follow (see Pete Shields, chair of Handgun Control International—now The Brady Campaign, in 1976).
An “arsenal” was 20 “guns” or 1000 rounds of ammunition. But a “gun” was defined as any part of the gun, such as a magazine, spare springs, and screws. So your handgun with three magazines, two spare recoil springs, two spare magazine springs, and the original set of grip panels would count as 10 “guns”. Your two bricks of .22 ammo, alone, would require an “arsenal” license. An arsenal license would require:
a person would need to be fingerprinted, obtain permission of local zoning authorities, and pay a $300 tax every three years. Her home would be subjected to unannounced, warrantless inspection by the government up to three times a year. “Arsenal” owners would also have to obtain a $100,000 dollar insurance policy.
So, the answer to the question is, it “boils over into real activity” the instant they have the political power.