How Real or Possible is Gun Confiscation?


The idea of gun confiscation is one of the most divisive issues surrounding gun owners. For opponents, it is seen as gun owners needlessly worrying about something that could never happen. They see the idea of a government coming to gather up all of the guns as nothing but an excuse to hold onto guns tighter. It is seen as fear mongering, whereas for gun owners there is a very real fear that it may happen. These fears are due to the changes and restrictions that owners must experience first hand every time a local, federal, or federal statute changes how they live their everyday life.

But how possible is the big one? Are there any grounds for these fears? Can our government truly come and take our guns from us or is it something that we are needlessly worrying about? Well, to understand this, we need to take a look into the history books.

The Past

Throughout history, there have been orders to take law-abiding citizens guns from them. That's right. This is not a fictitious idea manufactured by the firearms industry. Due to the government's perception of national urgency or imminent danger, there have been several times in our history it has happened.

Historically, these mass violations of rights have occurred during times of crisis or war.  In these times U.S. troops have acted on behalf of their commanders and politicians to restrict the liberties of the people. What's more is that they actually get the masses to believe that it is for their own good.

The first time this happened in America, was a time when we weren't truly a country yet, but the principles that formed our Republic were in full effect. It was in 1775, during a time of palpable civil unrest among the colonies, that Massachusetts governor, General Thomas Gage ordered British soldiers to confiscate firearms from civilians in the interest of thwarting a rebellion. The citizens, not standing for this unjust violation of their rights and safety decided to take a stand. In doing so, they set off the first battle of the Revolutionary War. The Battles of Lexington and Concord.

President Abraham Lincoln ordered the largest gun confiscation in American History with his Confiscation Act.

President Abraham Lincoln ordered the largest gun confiscation in American History with his Confiscation Act.

Now, you may be thinking that the prior case is different, due to the fact that it was not our American democracy in force, but rather a tyrant king at that time, but there are several more unfortunate incidents post-revolution where confiscation has occurred. In 1861, after rejecting the power of states to peacefully secede from the Union, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Confiscation Acts, thus authorizing federal troops to confiscate firearms from civilians in preparation for the upcoming invasion of the south and the beginning of the U.S. Civil War.

In 1890, during Native American “relocation” effort, U.S. troops disarmed the Lakota people “for their own safety and protection” as they were forcibly moved into their new and unwanted home. To add to the darkness, most of the Lakota tribe was massacred when a deaf Lakota man named Black Coyote refused to surrender his rifle to the federal soldiers. This was known as the massacre at Wounded Knee.

And even last century, in 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, under the preface of the attack on Pearl Harbor signed one of the most disgraceful acts in American History, rounding up Japanese citizens, confiscating weapons and property and forcing these American citizens into internment camps.

So to say that this has never happened in our history and that there is nothing but fear-mongering occurring amongst the gun lobby and industry is, as you can see, an unfortunate falsehood.

The Present

In 2005, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans became a veritable disaster area and was rife with violence and vandalism.  The government’s response to the wave of crime was to launch a wholesale gun confiscation effort in the city.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared that the city was under a state of “martial law” while New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass stated “There’s a martial law declaration in place that gives us legal authority for mandatory evacuations,” Compass said.  “No one will be able to be armed. We will take all weapons. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.”

Cops and National Guard units then went door-to-door to follow the orders of the mayor.  More than 1,000 firearms were seized, and untold numbers of people, houses, and vehicles were searched in the process.

Recently, there was an article that we released that took a look at Attorney Generals and their power over gun laws. The results that we have seen in cases from Pennsylvania and Virginia show that immense power can be wielded by very few people with regard to gun control. In Pennsylvania, it was Maura Healey deciding herself what constituted an assault rifle. While in Virginia an overturned ruling by Mark Herring completely ridded the state of any concealed carry reciprocity from other states.

This is something that has been seen as prodding for what people can get away with regarding gun control. As I mentioned, Virginia was overturned, however, the statute in Pennsylvania remains, and the idea that this may become even more prevalent is gaining more ground.

The Potential Future

So can a situation in which a select few or even one person in our government implement policies to take guns from citizens? Historically speaking, it can happen, because it already has several times over. The main reasons for it happening are that of imminent danger or as a punishment to people the government feels are enemies of America.

FBI SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team members wearing specialized "Weapons of Mass Destruction" equipment carry M-4 Assault Rifles during a practice session entering or "breaching" a room at a "Live Fire Kill House" tactical training facility in Southern California. The SWAT team practices five days per month.

It is understandable to think that a confiscation of guns may not happen, but at the same time, nobody believed that this country could round up thousands of its own citizens and place them into internment camps, completely destroying the freedoms that they came to this country to receive. The simple, and unfortunate fact is that our government can do what it wants, but it is the people who need to police the government. Which is one of the very reasons we have the second amendment in the first place.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Christopher M Churchill on October 3, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Wow, That’s scary. I knew some of this stuff, but never knew the extent of it. I think an feel we need to do a better job of choosing the people that represent our country and who run this wonderful land of freedom. Because if we don’t watch our choices, and take our responsibilities more seriously we wont stay free for long. And then we will wonder how it happened and when the mistake took place

  2. Core on October 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I see a great risk of history repeating itself, due to the lack of the average American’s historical understanding. If the younger generations continue to believe the propaganda spewed by the media and fail to understand the mistakes of our past it will be easy for tyranny to take a strong hold. One might say it is already embedded. Many academics have a strong desire for socialism to reap the benefits of equality. The unfortunate reality is that America’s freedoms are not possible under a socialist system. If one is to understand Marx, and have a desire to evolve into socialism and then into Marxist communism does not warrant disarming the census, nor does it warrant a homogeneous enforcement or elimination of religion. The socialists seem to attack guns and religion, and all they seek is an fascist autocracy. A fascist autocracy is not Marxist communism, it’s an autocratic system that allows the wealthy elite to exploit the poor under the false pretense of socialism. After all Marx said a democratic nation would eventually fall into socialism, and lead to a violent revolution extending into pure communism. The interesting component that most academics have seemed to ignore is that pure communism is a democracy where the census works for the whole. Don’t be fooled, America is already right where we need to be, the only danger we face is the elite trying to convince us that there is something better on the other side so they can capitalize on the vacuum..

  3. Randel on October 23, 2016 at 7:58 am

    well if this were to happen everyone reading fhis would be welcome to come pay their last respects to me at my funeral in the words of Charlton Heston from my cold dead hands. Thats the only way they will get my guns

  4. Dean selters on September 10, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Come and get it….ill die first.!!!

  5. George on April 3, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    For a look into how it will take place, look no further than to gold confiscation of 1933, and the new ATF regulation outright banning bump-fire stocks (turn in or permanently disable) in the face of 10 years in prison. Look at New York SAFE (turn in or face prison). That’s the face of 21st Century confiscation.

  6. Dave S on June 13, 2018 at 7:10 am

    AG Maura Healey wrote her own law banning the sale of all AR-15s in Massachusetts not Pennsylvania, and that still stands with no help from our “republican” govenor.

  7. Adam on September 3, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Gun Control
    Anyone wanna look at the bigger picture?

    The best predictor of the future is to look at the past.


    In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control.
    From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.


    In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

    China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated

    Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

    It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

    List of 7 items:
    Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent

    Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent

    Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

    In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.

    Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

    While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

    There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

    You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

    Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

    Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!
    The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.

    With guns, we are ‘citizens’.
    Without them, we are ‘subjects’.

    During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

    If you value your freedom, Please spread this anti-gun control message to all of your friends.

  8. USA Patriot on November 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Molon Labe

  9. Plain Truth on April 12, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Fact is the only time the masses showed they had any balls was in 1775, all the rest behaved like sheep. Everyone thinks they will fight the government but I know better. You will become sheep and lay your weapons down at the feet of your captors….

  10. Chris Thayer on October 22, 2021 at 6:30 am

    “The Great New Orleans Gun Grab: Descent into Anarchy,” by Gordon Hutchinson & Todd Masson tells of how the citizens of New Orleans had their guns confiscated by the NOPD, National Guard, and other enforcement at the orders of Mayor Nagin and Chief Compass. But meanwhile the gangs and hoodlums were left to run the streets and loot.

    It also tells the stories of some of the citizens who refused to capitulate and stood their ground on their properties and defended themselves and others.

    The saddest things are that it happened …. and that so few seem aware (or remember) that it did.

Leave a Comment