What Would Happen If The Government Tried To Take Our Guns? Would There Be Mass Riots?
No. Rioting would not be necessary.
Let’s put it this way; for decades the US has known about gangs that use illegally obtained and possessed guns to run illicit goods and services. In 2011 it was estimated there were 1.1 million affiliated gang members. Some estimates are over 2 million today.
No rational person believes gangs are a good thing for society. There are no Constitutional scholars or Supreme Court Justices debating the merits and necessities of gangs, drug running, and forced prostitution. Gang territories cover small areas within 5% of counties and account for about 80% of all homicides. Anti-gang task forces typically have a pretty good idea of the hierarchy of the gangs down to low-ranking members and non-associated (not in the gang) associates. So why don’t we just eradicate criminal organizations? Simply because we don’t have the resources. There aren’t enough officers to investigate and carry out arrests. The situation is only contained because gangs contain the violence themselves in strictly defined areas. We allow career criminals to kill other career criminals in gang territories because it doesn’t really impact us. This is what fills up the vast majority of crime stats, applying these actions to people that have nothing to do with the crimes (lawful firearm owners) makes no sense.
We can’t keep up with about 2 million people and we know who they are, where they are, who they associate with, and that they are definitely committing crimes regularly. Compare that to about 100 million (although some think that number is too low) people that have no record, little data are known about them, and are not committing any crimes. One estimate stated it would take at least 100 years to confiscate all the guns in circulation if all law enforcement agencies only worked on confiscation 24/7 and knew exactly where every single gun was at any given time.
We do have a general idea of how well voluntary measures would do. In the New York SAFE act, there were two main gun control provisions. First, limiting magazines to seven (7) rounds (which was quickly struck down by a judge), and second, mandatory registration of rifles that met certain criteria. The registration had a 4% compliance rate. There were no door-to-door police operations, there were no arrests for non-compliance, there were no repercussions at all. Those gun control provisions just faded away. Law enforcement agencies across the nation have sworn to not enforce laws they deem unreasonable and they didn’t enforce those SAFE act provisions.
This would be the most likely scenario if the impossible hurdles and hoops were jumped and jumped through respectively to end private firearm ownership; there would be massive non-compliance until it just fades away. The police can’t handle 2 million gang members. The police and national guard have a very difficult time controlling a thousand to thousands of protesters. There is no way law enforcement can handle 100 million or more people, especially since no one really knows who has the guns and where they are. Without ditching the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments there is no way to even consider collecting a fraction of the firearms out there. The military is not an option since they are not able to deal with domestic issues and the National Guard is far too limited in scope to conduct confiscations. In order for there to be enough manpower to get the job done in one lifetime nationwide martial law would be required and that would be the end of the country as we know it. Assuming it is somehow imposed, we would lose the positive side of private firearm ownership. According to researchers and the CDC, there are between 500,000 and 3,000,000 cases of legal self-defense with a firearm each year (avoiding death, rape, and/or grave bodily harm). In the 1990s the DOJ made a conservative estimate of 108,000 cases. By even the lowest estimate, these positive outcomes outweigh all gun deaths multiple times over. That alone makes most of these arguments completely moot.
The intent is to disarm lawful people who would now be at the mercy of criminals, the very same criminals that filled up the majority of the crime stats that allowed the arguments that private firearm ownership should end in the first place. Criminals would have no problem getting firearms, as we can see from every other nation on earth. We would tie up law enforcement with the task of making lawful people defenseless, leaving less actual crime-fighting capacity. It just doesn’t make any sense
It isn’t in the best interest of the nation, it isn’t politically feasible, it isn’t financially feasible, it isn’t logistically feasible. If it were to happen most people would not comply, there is no way to enforce any consequence, and it would just fizzle out.