Gun Purchasing, Before 1968



Most of my readers who are into firearms realize that there were basically no Federal restrictions on private citizen procurement and ownership of small arms before the Gun Control Act of 1968, expect for registration and a tax stamp required for machineguns and suppressors (the NFA 34).

Before 1968, there was *zero* Federal paperwork to fill out to buy a gun, long gun or handgun, from a dealer. No background check. No presenting of a government issued photo I.D. of any kind. (Obviously, gun shops did not sell guns to boys unless their father was present and consenting). In fact, many importers and big shops sold guns direct to private citizens through the mail! GCA 68 changed all of that.

In my collection I have a tattered old issue of the NRA’s official magazine, The American Rifleman, July 1965 issue. The cover photo is of a U.S. Army soldier at Camp Perry demonstrating the offhand position for firing the M14 rifle. Every picture in this issue, in both the articles and the advertisements, is of a White person, and all but one were males. The “gun culture” in 1965 America was a different world.

Now on to the advertisements! Major stores and wholesalers *legally* sold firearms, many of them WWII era military surplus ones, to people by mail order. Yes indeed. No I.D., government background check, or paperwork. (Some required a signed statement that you were over 18 or 21, a citizen, and were not a convicted criminal. Kline’s also wanted your phone number and driver’s license number).

Here are some of the highlights from the ads. Klein’s Sporting Goods of Chicago (yes, Chicago, Illinois) was selling U.S. military M1 Carbines for $59.95. Klein’s also had U.S. surplus 1917 Enfield bolt actions in 30-06 ($29.78), and new Marlin lever actions. N.F Strebe Gun Works of Washington, D.C. had a variety of surplus Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers for sale, priced between $35 and $45. Hunter’s Lodge of Arlington, Virginia was selling German made P-08 Luger pistols for $49.95, U.S. M1 Carbines for $59.95, British Enfield No. 4 bolt action rifles in .303 for $18.95, U.S. 1917 Enfields for $29.95, U.S. 1903 Springfields in 30-06 for $39.95, and Model 98 Mausers for between $26.95 and $39.95 (the price depending on caliber and country of origin).


Yes, we have had massive currency deflation in the last half century, but some of those were very good prices. And shipped to your door, no FFL needed. Despite this easy access to firearms, much easier than we have today, we were not a violent society.

There was some unrest at that time, for political and racial reasons. There were several political assassinations, all likely traceable back to Uncle’s clandestine services, not the commies. There was only one mass shooting, the tower one in Texas by an ex.-U.S. Marine. Back then, the thought of drive by shootings, or going to a school or a shopping mall to randomly kill people, never crossed anyone’s mind.

Back in 1965, we White folk were a society with a moral code rooted in Christianity, were still living in traditional family units, had a love of our neighbor, and a still felt a connection to our kin roots. Now most of that is gone. Our society has degenerated. Modern American society is a cesspool of materialism, miscegenation1, pornography, sexual perversion, abortion, divorce and broken families, irreligion, weak church pulpits, dark and twisted entertainment from (((Hollywood))), and nihilism. Today we have far more (totally unconstitutional) restrictions on owning firearms, yet the crime rate is MUCH higher. It is not the guns, it is the people.

Private ownership of all types of small arms by the citizenry is necessary to serve as a safeguard against tyranny. The Founders understood this. Dr. Michael Hill’s July 15, 2014 article A Bazooka in Every Pot at the L.O.S. website is a well written analysis of what free citizens owning all types of arms would look like in our present day. ( )

We were relatively free back in 1965, back when we were a society of strong White families who read Bibles, not Harry Potter or Twilight novels. We can be again, but only if we return to our roots, to who we were. Christianity, agrarianism, and Kinism are the answers to our country’s problems. Basically, we need to return to our God, Kin, and Soil! Implement these three things, and the mass unrestricted ownership of machineguns and bazookas would not be a problem.


1The U.S. supreme Court ruling that struck down many state’s laws prohibiting miscegenation (interracial marriage) was not until 1967, two years after the referenced magazine was printed.


2 thoughts on “Gun Purchasing, Before 1968

  1. Joe, I remember coming back from the other side of the planet in
    January of 1969…

    Going down to the local hardware store to buy some 22LR…

    And being told I had to show ID and sign for it!!!!!

    This was in upstate NY, where a dozen years earlier you could
    ride the school bus with your rifle and ammo, to shoot in the
    school basement range after classes.

    1968 gun control act.

    The freedom I was fighting for during TET68.


    1. Indeed Willy. I was shocked to learn about that when I was studying the history of gun control, as I started buying ammo after the part of GCA68 was amended. But my Dad (age 71) remembers that ID requirement for ammo, as do you.


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