Will Obama Confiscate Guns and Gold?

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Top Tier Gear USA

by Wendy McElroy

Barack Obama often compares himself to Franklin D. Roosevelt. When he does, gold owners reach for a gun, of which they usually have several. Gold and guns are becoming politically entangled, and a connecting word is often “confiscation.”

The prospect of gun confiscation is fueling discussion of FDR’s 1933 nationalization of gold ownership, which resembled Hugo Chavez’s nationalization of Venezuelan gold mines in 2011. FDR did so by executive order; Chavez did so by decree. If guns in America are also ‘nationalized’, then the 1933 gold grab may have insights on how the state could proceed and how American public may react.


Roosevelt was inaugurated as President on March 4th, 1933. He immediately moved to outlaw the private ownership of gold. He proceeded in several steps.

On March 6th, FDR issued Proclamation 2039 that declared a bank holiday in order to halt “heavy and unwarranted withdrawals of gold and currency from our banking institutions for the purpose of hoarding”; that is, to cease redeeming money for gold or releasing client-held gold from its vaults. FDR blamed the “severe drain on the Nation’s stocks of gold” on foreign speculation and individual hoarding, which were causing a “national emergency.” The President assumed the power to “investigate, regulate or prohibit” the so-called wrongful use of gold. Americans violating the Proclamation or the regulations produced under its authority would “be fined not more than $10,000” or “imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both.”

On March 9th, the Emergency Banking Act passed Congress without being read because it had not been distributed. The Act affirmed all of FDR’s orders since March 4th, and amended the WWI Trading with the Enemy Act to give the President “absolute control over the national finances and foreign exchange” not only in times of war but also in emergencies. It required that “any individual or organization…deliver any gold that they possess or have custody of to the Treasury” in return for other lawful currency. Only Federal Reserve-approved and accountable banks were to remain open; private or independent banks were no longer permitted. In effect, all banks had to meet Fed regulations, including reporting and turning over gold in their vaults upon demand.

On April 5th, FDR signed Executive Order 6102 that prohibited the ownership, called “hoarding,” of “gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates…by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations.” (There were minor exceptions such as jewelry.) Gold-holders had until the end of April to surrender gold to the Federal Reserve. They were reimbursed in currency worth $20.67, which had been the gold price per troy ounce since the late 1800s.

On January 30th, 1934, the Gold Reserve Act required the Federal Reserve to surrender its gold and gold certificates to the US Treasury. It also arbitrarily changed the price of gold from $20.67 to $35. This caused a 69% devaluation of the dollar. Otherwise stated, the government increased the value of its gold by 41%.

The process: a declaration of absolute Presidential authority; Congressional affirmation; an executive order of implementation; and, an arbitrary devaluation of the dollar to increase government’s wealth.

Remember that Obama models himself on FDR [A good reason to get your larger gold holdings out of Dodge and beyond his reach while you can. –Ed.]. Obama actively pursues a path of regulation through executive orders. For example, a January 16th, 2013 Forbes headline reads, “Here Are The 23 Executive Orders On Gun Safety Signed Today By The President.” Obama also favors rule through policies imposed by massive and unaccountable federal agencies of which there are close to 70; their counterparts in FDR’s time were called Alphabet Agencies. Congressional approval is rarely required. Executive power has swelled since FDR’s days and Congress has been largely reduced to a funding role. As for devaluing the dollar, what else can you call the incessant increase in the currency supply? The increase enriches government because it is first to spend the new dollars before they can devalue through circulation. The main element missing from the FDR procedure is the executive order that provides implementation.

But how will the American people respond?


FDR was able to confiscate private gold for a combination of reasons. A major one was the cooperation of banks under the Federal Reserve. But what of the multitudes who directly surrendered their wealth? (In 1933, gold still circulated as currency and private ownership was widespread.)

One reason was fear of punishment. Another was patriotism. The Austrian economist Thomas Woods explained yet another reason. “The paper currency [$20.67] they were receiving in exchange for the gold had always been redeemable in gold in the past.” It was only later that they realized “they weren’t getting that gold back, and that the paper dollars they were being given in exchange would be devalued.” In short, they were duped.

Today’s gold-holding public is not so naïve or patriotic. Gold is not a circulating currency and those who buy it do so knowing that government is devaluing every dollar through inflation. Moreover, they know history.

Will Obama move to confiscate gold? No one knows. If he does, I expect it will not start as a direct confiscation from individuals. It would probably begin through steps toward nationalizing private retirement accounts such as IRAs. This could happen in one of two ways: require accounts to hold some percentage of government security, especially Treasury bonds; or, have a government agency manage the accounts.

On the Austrian economic LewRockwell site (August 21st, 2010), Ron Holland (contributing editor to the Swiss Mountain Vision Newsletter and Swiss Confidential) wrote:

Just as with the…nationalization of Healthcare, the tremendous amount of funds in private retirement plans and IRA accounts are also being targeted to meet future revenue needs. Bills have just been introduced in both the House and Senate to create the new Auto IRA accounts which will at first be voluntary but later will become mandatory like Social Security and I expect the early 3% employee after tax contribution levels to eventually rise to 10 to 15% of compensation rising even more than Social Security has increased over the years….The Auto IRA is the first step to… replace our private system with a forced, government controlled Social Security type program. In addition they will force much of your retirement funds into buying junk treasury bonds along with the Federal Reserve when the dollar/national debt crisis hits as billions of retirement funds become the buyer of last resort… (Auto IRA bills remain in both the House and the Senate, a glaring sign that you should get into a self-directed IRA while there’s still time.)

The relevance of such “pension reform” to gold is twofold: many retirement funds contain a considerable amount of gold in some form; and, the state control would set a precedent.

Gold confiscation would likely begin with pension accounts because the state mechanisms to do so are already in place. Moreover, as with the gold in FDR-era bank vaults, the location and quantity is known; the organizations holding it would cooperate fully. (Again, more reason to make sure your IRA is self-directed and that you can internationalize the assets therein.)

Direct confiscation from individuals would be more problematic, and not merely because of its comparative anonymity. Direct confiscation returns us to guns. Given the personality of the typical gold bug and the simmering state of society, Obama must know that gun confiscation is a political prerequisite of a direct gold grab. On February 13th, the UK Market Oracle predicted for 2013, “The collection programs for guns will be eclipsed by collection of private pension funds and perhaps gold itself.” Guns and gold are blurring.

Wendy McElroy is a renowned individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. She was a co-founder along with Carl Watner and George H. Smith of The Voluntaryist in 1982, and is the author/editor of twelve books, the latest of which is “The Art of Being Free”. Follow her work at http://www.wendymcelroy.com.

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  • stalker

    try and take it..either ones gonna hurt ya at 1750fps

    • Jean

      Needs to penetrate on first shot, and from casual research, you’ll need more like 5,000 FPS or up, to make a dent. 30.06 single shots won’t break normal bullet-proof glass (lexan) according to quick findings. Might as well just to go an RPG and remove the mobility. Can’t get away if it’s on its side.

      • H.Nelson

        They have to get out those APC’s to actually do something. Sure, they’ll have body armor. But that is for protecting vital organs. 00 buck on the knees down will turn them into stumps. It’s hard for them to function if they’re more concerned about their legs.

        • Jean

          NICE… 🙂

      • SKIP

        AK rounds often go through our armor glass over here and a normal AK round is relatively low velocity thought the muslims more and more are getting and using armor piercing ammo and it works very well agains our armor glass and body armot…sadly!

        • morris adams

          get your ass home, you makin me cry.

      • morris adams

        people aint made out of bullet proof glass, and FPS… not if you’re 50 ft away! a bb will break skin at close range.

    • SKIP

      1759fpd!!!! slow poke! try 5300fps CORBON Lapua .338

  • OldGUy

    I know for a fact that once the guns and resistance is gone the rest is up for grabs without a doubt. History has proved it.

    Besides with there being so much speculation about the gold reserves having been depleted over the decades “they” have to find some way to stock back up. I find it amazing that no one can get into Ft. Knox and verify that the reserves are actually still there. That alone tells me that something is wrong. Opsec my butt.

    I laugh my ass off at the commercials that advertise gold sales and in return for your paper money you will get another piece of paper saying you own gold, LOL. Those buyers get exactly what they deserve.

    • Jean

      Saw a documentary on Fort Knox once… Apparrently they have seismic sensors even, as well as obvious security – and they even fire people for working there too long, and “knowing too much.”
      Just part of the job, I guess – but since murderes can get out same night, but those who steal get locked away, we KNOW what’s most important to those in power: Power and money, interchangeably.

      We must deny them both. 😉 Don’t elect those running for office, and don’t invest in their businesses. Make them WORK for a living.

  • Jean

    I’m afraid most of us (myself included) are “internet tough guys” or “keyboard rambos.” We need to change this, and make it a credible threat. We’re talking about a government that’s decided we’re the enemy, and will – especially if a raid goes bad once or twice – simply dispatch drones and bomb us. It will be a “meth lab accident,” or a “home explosives workshop,” or a “gas leak.” We’ll be dead, our families too, and the weapons destroyed – win/win/win for them. No one will question until we have a few dozen of these incidents, AND they receive coverage.

    That means: if we wait, we’ve waited too long. If we aren’t pro-active, we’re toast.

    We need useful skills, weapons, survival knowledge, and an exit plan. Leave the country to tear itself apart, laugh from across the borders, and then move in en masse and restore order the hard way. Most people will want the order rather than the chaos, even if it means half of them are executed. (scary how stupid sheep are, but look at what happened in Russia and China, and what goes on here every day. Peace at any cost.)

    The ones who are a problem account for a very small fraction of the population – I’ve heard as low as 1:10,000 LEO:Civilian (Civilian used intentionally due to the LEO mindset.) Also, lots of LEOs are also reservists, IIRC. Two-fer. So we need to STFU a little more, and then if/when TSHTF, we need to deal with the local thugs in blue (black) in pro-active fashion, so that there are fewer problems later on. And we need to IMMEDIATELY move on. Have “leaders” (patsies, perhaps?) to take on admin positions and fill the void. But we need to decide NOW what we will risk, how much we are willing to lose, and how to relocate with 30 seconds notice – as that’s all we might have. And that’s IF you have your own land, and think of how to defend it – and then have to walk away afterwards anyway.

    Someone like me? Best bet is GTFO and find somewhere else that’s civilized. I’m a techie, with all the issues that implies. Out of shape, lots of knowledge, not much practical value: not a mechanic, not a hacker, no military training, no carpentry, no gold, no wealth, etc. Knowledge and intelligence only gets you so far. And i’m “young” yet – what about the 55+? or 75+? What if you get injured? How do we handle the FBI, which likely has files on all of us who post on sites like this? Do we have backup IDs? How can we set aside some wealth in foreign locations, or at least separate, accessible locations? Do we have jewelry, or gems, or other items of value? Knowledge, like plumbing or car repair? Etc, etc, etc.

    We can’t continue to talk tough, and then admit we’ll just go quietly because we won’t endanger our family. I know a lot of people will hate me for putting it this way: If you’re not willing to risk them, then STFU. You’re a liability to them for venting, let alone planning or acting. (A few have admitted as much; I have been disowned over religious matters, and am unmarried, so I have less to lose. Might make me a poor example to tell others how to do things, but I DO understand the risk and costs. For whatever reason, I worked out the logic when I was about 7, and I’ve been living it ever since. It’s costly. It hurts. It’s life, so c’est la vie.)

    The reason to STFU if you won’t risk your family is: YOU’RE ALREADY RISKING THEM BY TALKING TOUGH. You want to hide behind “defending / not endangering my family,” then STFU and you’ll be ACTING on it instead of SAYING it. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder. And if you vent here, and it all goes south in USA, YOU are on the list for venting – which means you’ll get a 3 AM no-knock, or a drone strike, and possibly be executed anyway, for “furtive actions,” or “reached for his waistband,” etc. STAY OFF THE RADAR, stay alive, relocate, keep the family safe. If it hits the fan, take your weapon(s) and DO SOMETHING and then go back to silent living. Repeat one to three times a year, depending on population and cameras. Learn more surreptitious methods – garrotte, IED, etc. Drop something behind while “tying a shoelace,” keep walking, let the device do its work while you’re at home sleeping. Employ the SAME tactics (and disregard for life) that the enemy does. And STFU. You weren’t there, it never happened, you know nothing. “Lose” weapons and manuals and computer files NOW. Construct hiding spaces for items and people. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS STFU. Silent running. No targets.

    Like water, we adapt and move on. Formless. No leader, no body, just individuals. Over time, we quietly make a Grand Canyon. It worked in Russia, in Germany, in Poland, in France. It will work here too.

    No matter how slowly they move, they CAN’T move slow enough: humans are what we are, there will ALWAYS be resistors. Just STFU.

    Sorry for the rant, it’s just – if you’ll go quietly anyway, all you do by voicing the opinions is (1) become a target, and (2) give support to others who feel the same way. While (2) is essential, the details are probably best left out: what weapons, how many, the family, etc. Prepare for evac, learn medical skills, learn practical (barterable) skills, hoard goods that can be traded. Won’t be Zombie Apocalypse, there will be shortages: food, money, power, arms and ammo. If you’re not ready to go down fighting, don’t paint the target on your back – just support others with a small note, to the effect of “III” or “I hear you.”

    And if TSHTF, you’re still able to act, and not already a target – protecting the family by being invisible; supporting others through actions that no one knows about.

    Giving a number? Unless you have a Barret .50 or 1.0, and the knowledge of how to hit the target at a half-mile or further away, you’re basically flapping your gums (and I’m guilty of it too), but it’s no more effective than that quiet, “I agree.” (And further, can be construed as a threat justifying the 3 AM SWAT raid that kills you in your bed, because you were, “reaching for a weapon.”)

    It goes against our social nature as humans, but we need to “be batman” in a sense: Bruce Wayne to teh world, Batman to us. (IE, Batman is the person; Bruce Wayne is the mask he wears to effect his crusade.) We need to be invisible. If 50% of a police force is wiped out in the course of a month, the other 50% will “retire” very quickly – and those 3%ers will know there are others around who support them, even if they don’t know WHO. But there will need to be a “private” insignia, and something a bit less obvious than the Gadsden-Culpepper, when TSHTF. But not until then…

    Jolly Roger only came out when the pirate ship was within striking distance. We need to be the same. Be the doctor / lawyer / geek / redneck / fireman / police officer (!) and easy-going friend in daily life; have the hidey-holes for people and goods, and a stash of useful items, and an evac route planned out, and STFU. (Again.) Maybe we’ll be lucky and never need our skills and knowledge and goods. But if we need them, it will be too late to get them then; we need to obtain and PREPARE in advance. And keep it on the QT, always quiet, even asking friends to get deliveries for us, using false IDs, etc.

    Example, if you haven’t seen it: Rampage. Lousy film, but good concepts. (Not as violent as you’d think, either, but excellent for the “bait and switch” or “art of war” concepts. We need to learn from this.)

  • Maxwell

    “On March 9th, the Emergency Banking Act passed Congress without being read because it had not been distributed.”

    They had to p[ass to find out what was in it.

  • Patriot

    The confiscation of Gold took the finances of the country away from the people and gave it to the politicians .It was robbery at gun point. Today the value of our savings is invested in DURABLES such as GUNS and GOLD. Will they try to steal these? Yes! They will fail and the citizens will prevail if we FIGHT a war against tyranny. It’s been coming, now it’s here . What are YOU going to do? It’s Let’s Roll or be Rolled.

    • morris adams

      it really is here, isn’t it. it really is endgame. remember when we cried at the berlin wall in ’89 and how we used to see those bright CCCP olympic uniforms, and all that shit’s gone, we’re the last bully on the block to get our nose bloodied, it’s fixin to happen aint it? times up, we’re just about done talking about it. wow, i can’t believe it’s really gonna happen in our lifetimes. well,, see ya out there. ain’t nowhere else to go.

  • Lops

    Americans gladly gave up the gold in the 1930’s when they were starving. 70 years later, Americans have been turned into drug/sex addicted losers who can’t find the US on a map. They’ll gladly give up their gold AND guns if it means a hot meal at Camp FEMA.

    The 3% who will fight for freedom face a tough road.

    • SKIP

      TOTALLY agree here Lops. Read “the Turner Diaries”

  • Obama will take any/all of our freedoms and wealth if we allow it.

  • John Henry

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to know that the govt would try to hit the IRAs, 401ks and pension accounts. I have 15 years into a defined benefit pension account. There is not much I could do if the govt decided to impose regs on it. The other property mentioned would be easy to hide. Gold is easy to hide, too. If all of the confiscation occurs, gold would be traded on the black market, as well as other contraband.

  • Nick T.

    I think their hope is to confiscate everything from everybody. To feed the Beast.

  • morris adams

    i don’t have a retirement acct like this so excuse my ignorance on the subject BUT what would be the down side of withdrawing whatever you have, penalized of course, but the penalty for letting gubmint handle it is gonna be 100%!! someone tell me what I’m missing. I’m thinking if erbody withdrew their shit then there wouldn’t be anything for them to ”nationalize/confiscate”. seriously, what am i missing or misunderstanding? thanks

    • Well, first, people may not have the option of taking it out much longer. Second, you might not have the option of not having one much longer. If they can do it for health insurance, they can do it for anything.