By Steve Berman
September 9, 2019
Let me be clear. This is a thought experiment, so don’t email me or tweet @ me saying how it could never happen, “Molon Labe,” cold dead hands, muh 2A, blah, blah. Read the headline, which features the word “if” because I really want to go there. Let’s really assume that the government of the United States banned AR-15s.
Let’s start, like the economists do, with assumptions.
The ban is national, not just single states, although single states can be used as predictors.
The ban passed muster with the federal courts, including SCOTUS. (Again, don’t @ me, this is a mind experiment, so swallow the blue pill and shut up.)
The ban includes provisions for robust registration, “buy back,” and, failing that, forced confiscation (with compensation, if you survive the event).
Federal, state, and local law enforcement are charged with the “doing” of the law. Uncle Sugar in Washington, through the BATF, provides a “bounty” to each jurisdiction to cover the costs of collection and compensation. In other words, don’t worry about the money, because our tax dollars will be spent buying back the guns.
We will not address the economic impact on gun manufacturers in this experiment. I presume that since not all rifles will be banned, they will simply convert to legal designs, like they did with the last ban during the Clinton administration.