At the intersection of firearms law and Microeconomics...


Just saw a fully transferable, National Firearms Act (or "NFA item") M1A1 Thompson submachine gun show up in some local online classifieds.  To purchase, it requires a virtual mound of paperwork, fees, etc, but that is small potatoes compared to the asking price:  $18,000 USD.

For those who aren't aware, in 1986, part of the passage of the Firearm Owners Protection Act included an amendment barring the sale of newly manufactured automatic weapons; in essence, after 1986 no new automatic weapons could be registered for private civilian ownership.

Predictably, what happened at that point was essentially a cap on the *supply* of legally registered full-auto weapons in US civilian hands.   Since *demand* for said items did not decrease, there was an inevitable upward pressure on prices of legal weapons.

A supply that is low and dwindling (presumably some number of guns break or are destroyed every year), plus a demand that is high and increasing equals $18,000 USD for an item that in 1944 cost the US Government $45.  In 2019 dollars, that would be approximately $650 depending on how you calculate inflation.

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