Joe Biden Says We Can’t Have Tanks, WSJ Proves Him Wrong

In the same interview where he advised people to randomly shoot guns in the air and violate discharge ordinances, Joe Biden told everyone that citizens aren’t allowed have tanks under the law. We already know that’s not accurate, but the Wall Street Journal decided to have some fun with this topic and actually profile tank owners.

Tank brokers—yes, there is such a thing—estimate there are several hundred to 1,000 private tank owners in the U.S.

Not only is it legal to own tanks, there’s an entire market for them with brokers. Awesome. Why would anyone want a tank?

When their insurance agent inquired about their plans for the tank, the Neal brothers emailed back, “We are going to use it to take over the world.”

Says Ken Neal, 45: “A tank is cool.”

For anyone who think these two tank owners are an insurrectionist threat, their efforts toward world domination have only managed to extend to driving their 1966 British Chieftain over a rusty car in the desert. Another tank owner talks about the lifestyle challenges:

He says he has put about $280,000 into his Sherman so far and expects to spend as much as $75,000 more. “You get a tank, you end up with an ex-wife,” warns Mr. Miller, who has one of each.

If Sebastian bought a tank, I would never, ever leave him. I’d probably jump up and down and hug him at the news. The WSJ also highlights their value as investment pieces:

In 1993, a top-notch Sherman went for $75,000, according to the Illustrated Tank & AFV [Armored Fighting Vehicle] Buyer’s Guide. Now Dave Uhrig, a Chillicothe, Ohio, tank broker, is offering one for $387,000.

The good news is that they report that prices have recently dropped or flattened. So if you can’t find an AR at your local gun shop, you may be able to find a slightly discounted tank. They note that while tanks aren’t street legal, owners often get flexibility from authorities to take it to the gas station or drive it in parades.

I think the best part of the story is at the end. One of the tank owners reported that he took it out for a drive in his warehouse parking lot to play with a special propane setup he has to generate just the noise and muzzle flash for the machine gun on top. Needless to say, someone called the cops. The first officer asked if the owner knew why they were there. The second – well:

The second policeman, Jeremy Marshall, got out of his car and eyeballed Mr. Bauer’s tank. “Awesome,” he said.

And this is why we win. Because it is awesome. Go read the entire article because I didn’t cover nearly all of the good stuff. Plus, there’s a slideshow and video.

31 thoughts on “Joe Biden Says We Can’t Have Tanks, WSJ Proves Him Wrong”

  1. I bet he was like “You know what everyone else has? sports cars. You know what no one has? a tank. No one’s double parking me anymore.”

  2. If he’s got enough cash and is willing to put up with the liscening, he could get a working Ma Duece for the tank… I love watching the blank looks on people’s faceswhen you explain to them how fully-automatic firearms actually can be legally owned.

    1. ” he could get a working Ma Duece for the tank…”

      Actually, a friend of mine, a former Bucks Countian who did rather well in the software business, has a couple of them. Not tanks, actually, but armored cars mounted with working M2s.

  3. If Sebastian bought a tank, I would never, ever leave him. I’d probably jump up and down and hug him at the news.

    Note to Sebastian: if you ever get in trouble with Bitter, forget the flowers and chocolate: just buy her a tank!

      1. So when have you ever gotten me flowers? :) I’ll at least give you credit on the chocolate because you let me steal part of the huge chocolate stash my mom gave you for Christmas.

  4. James Garner used a privately-owned Sherman to rescue his son from a corrupt sheriff in the movie creatively called “Tank” back in the ’70s(?).

  5. If Sebastian bought a tank, I would never, ever leave him. I’d probably jump up and down and hug him at the news. The WSJ also highlights their value as investment pieces:

    Your a quality woman.

    If my wife ever leaves me (and right now with my travel schedule, she’s getting close. Luckily Disney next week with the family!), and Sebastian ever has second thoughts . . . there may be a tank in my future!

    1. I suspect several tank brokers are getting many more phone calls today. Bitter, tank saleswoman of the year.

  6. A tank! That would be my dream possession! A woman who loves tanks: she would be my dream wife!

  7. Come on down to Virginia in the summer and pay these guys a visit:

    I’ve been to several of their open houses and they have tons of working armor of all eras. I’ve seen “For Sale” signs on a few vehicles during the events. One was an Abbot SP artillery piece. Not horrifically expensive, relatively speaking (price of an average car).

    I want a Fox armored car for daily commuting on the Capital Beltway. These are street legal. And then when some jackass decides they want to treat the merge lane as their own personal one, bypass stopped traffic and expect me to yield when they should, let them hit me. Around an inch of armor versus Mercedes/BMW/etc. Then I get out, upset, screaming “Look what you’ve done to my baby!” while their car is a smoking, totaled wreck in the guardrail, and apply fresh spray paint to the exposed steel to protect it.

    It would be well worth the cost in fuel for the trip. Alas, I suspect I would have few traffic issues as the occasional swiveling of the turret with the fake cannon by my passenger might have the effect of clearing the space around me in traffic.

    1. “Around an inch of armor versus Mercedes/BMW/etc.”

      Hell, all you needed was an Army five-ton for that, back in my day.

      When I was in Germany in the ’60s one of our five-tons hit a Volkswagon, and literally shredded it into basket-sized bits. All the five-ton needed was spot-painting.

      (Actually that’s a tragic story, as an entire German family was killed.)

  8. Back when I was in the 1/104th Cav in Philly we would tasked with providing tanks (at the time M60A3s) for parades and static displays. You wouldn’t believe how many people cut me off on the Shuylkill Expressway. I was pulled over once by the Highway Patrol because the Squadron Commander was tired of waiting for our escort and we left for Independence Hall without them. The patrolman got out of his vehicle and yelled for license, registration and insurance. I pointed up the Commander in the turret, dropped my seat down and closed my hatch and let the Colonel deal with it.

    If I had a pile of money I’d save one from becoming an artificial reef and give it a good home.

  9. John Kerry said Americans have a right to be stupid. Joe Biden is exercising the hell out of that right.

  10. The response of the police officers to the take reminds of the story a friend told me. He was a Civil War re-enactor, so he had a 3″ bore cannon. To get it to events, he towed it behind his truck. In the Bay Area, he would constantly get pulled over, and when they asked, “Do you have a license for this?” he would explain, “I don’t need one. It’s black powder.” But he was under the impression that they were mostly just curious.

    1. I probably shouldn’t write this too loud, but someone who shall remain nameless contributed to the design of a saboted, fin stabilized projectile design for one of those smoothbore blackpowder cannons that could make over 2400 fps safely and take out light armor.

  11. Used to do WW2 Re-enacting (until the Knees said “ENOUGH!”), and I know some of the Tank Guys. Trust me, having to use a Semi with a Flatbed to get a 34 ton Sherman from place to place is a Pain. Definitely a “Rich Man’s Hobby.” But the BATFE has Ruled that one can have a Tank, but the Main Gun has to have the Breech Block removed and/or “Cut Welded Shut.” Think of an AR lower being rendered into a “Non-Gun.” So all you get is a Big, Heavy, Bullet-Proof Gas Hog that can pretty much Crush anything out there, until you throw a track.

    But if I ever win the Lottery….

    1. Or registered as a destructive device, with a little bit of looking one can find a number of tanks with working main guns out there just expect the price to increase accordingly.

      1. True. But, since each and every round is *also* separately classified as a DD, actually firing it quickly becomes cost-prohibitive even for the wealthiest among us.

        1. Only if they contain high explosives, Training and AP rounds are good to go, but I would imagine the cost of reloading for a 75, 76 or 90mm gun is rather spendy. Still I would do it in a heartbeat if I ever win the lottery.

  12. This article also illustrates why talk of banning nuclear weapons, anti-aircraft guns, and artillery in general, is a rather silly red herring: it doesn’t matter whether or not these things are banned, anyone who could afford them isn’t likely to cause mayhem, and of those who *do* want to cause mayhem, if they have the money to buy these things, they aren’t going to let a silly thing like a ban stop them from getting them (or finding alternate ways to cause mayhem).

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