Actually, Mr. President, You CAN Own a Cannon

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- President Joe Biden has said on numerous occasions that a private individual couldn’t own a cannon at the time of the American Revolution. Is he correct?

In short, no, he is not correct. (Shocker!)

At the time of the Revolutionary War and in the following early years of the United States, there were no laws prohibiting the private ownership of cannons. Neither King George III nor President George Washington (or any other president, for that matter), issued any kind of law that prohibited people from owning cannons.

Actually, Mr. President, you CAN buy a cannon!

Now, I would be remiss not to mention that the British Crown did make it illegal for the colonists to cast their own cannons while under the King’s rule. To do so was deemed treasonous. But owning an already-made cannon? Nope, no issue of treason there.

Privately organized and funded artillery companies in the colonies date all the way back to the 1630s. A century later, in the 1740s, there are records of Benjamin Franklin helping organize artillery companies while stressing that they were made completely of volunteers and armed at their own expense.

How do volunteers arm an artillery company? By spending their own money to buy a cannon!

One of the driving forces behind the first major battles of the Revolution was because the British soldiers were coming to confiscate privately-owned arms – including cannons and mortars – such as ones that were being held by veterans of the French and Indian War as war trophies.

Privateer ship “General Armstrong” carried 7 cannons in 1814.

During the course of the Revolution, approximately 1,700 letters of Marque were issued to privateers. In the War of 1812, President James Madison issued more than 500 letters of Marque to privateers. These letters of marque created what was, essentially, legal piracy, and it was sanctioned by the government and even deemed necessary. So how did these privateers arm their vessels? With cannons that they purchased as individuals.

Our colonial navy had approximately 1,200 cannons on board less than 65 ships. The privateers, on the other hand, had almost 15,000 cannons – all privately owned.

Throughout much of this country’s history, privately-raised militia units have fought side by side with regular artillery units, with the only difference being that these militia units were using cannons that had been privately purchased. Many artillery units in the Civil War were funded privately.

It wasn’t until 1903 that the Militia Act led to the winding down of private militias, but it did nothing to stop the sale of cannons to individuals.

The godfather of milsurp, Francis Bannerman, sold countless cannons to individuals in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

The National Firearms Act of 1934, which is, by far, the most restrictive piece of Federal legislation related to the ownership of arms, says nothing about cannons. Zip. Zilch. Nada. It wasn’t until 1968 that things we regard as modern artillery – like bazookas, for instance – were regulated further.

But what about muzzleloading cannons, like the ones used during the Revolutionary War? They’re conspicuously absent in any of the legislation. You could buy a cannon as an individual in the Revolution era, and you can still buy one today as an individual.

Cannons for sale right now on the internet. (IMA-USA)

So with that, let us consider the matter settled, and make it clear once and for all: there never has been, in the entire history of this nation dating back more than 400 years to the early 1600s, any restrictions whatsoever on an individual’s ability to own a cannon.


About Logan Metesh

Logan Metesh is a historian with a focus on firearms history and development. He runs High Caliber History LLC and has more than a decade of experience working for the Smithsonian Institution, the National Park Service, and the NRA Museums. His ability to present history and research in an engaging manner has made him a sought after consultant, writer, and museum professional. The ease with which he can recall obscure historical facts and figures makes him very good at Jeopardy!, but exceptionally bad at geometry.

Logan Metesh

Subscribe
Notify of
74 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DDS
DDS
1 month ago

Don’t show this link to President “Creepy Joe.”

He’d likely stroke out over it and I really don’t think we’re ready for a Harris Administration.

https://southbendreplicas.com/

Catatonic
Catatonic
25 days ago
Reply to  DDS

I doubt that a Harris administration would be any different. They’re both being run by the same handlers, just like Obama was.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago

If I was really rich, like Presidemt Trump, Bill Gates rich, I would absolutely habe my own warship. Nothing to big, couple of hundred feet long; but fast and armored, and well armed. Not missiles or proper massive naval rifles, but relatively “modern” 2″ guns, .50 Brownings, a few Bofors maybe.

DIYinSTL
DIYinSTL
1 month ago

Not only were privately owned cannon used before, during and after the Revolutionary War, but a century and a half later the wealthy families of the Rough Riders bought two machine guns which they took into battle. And yes, Joe, it is legal to own and fire modern cannon, and tanks, and mortars, and machine guns and many other toys. An F-15 might be a little tough to come by but various Migs and perhaps F-4s are available.

Cruiser
Cruiser
1 month ago

I think Biden was shot out of a cannon as a kid and hit a wall. How else would you explain his lack of intelligence?

GmanNM
GmanNM
25 days ago
Reply to  Cruiser

I think over 4 decades worth of peddling his own special “vision” of what he want the USA to be has stressed his mental faculties. At some point, he started to believe his own bullsh*t that he was shoveling to his constituents. I don’t think he is capable of recognizing truth from fiction. And THAT is incredibly dangerous – especially because too many citizens believe in him. It may be too late to undo the damages the leftists have inflicted on our nation.

Chuck
Chuck
1 month ago

Joe Bidan as usual, as he has been for the past 50 years he’s suckled on the Taxpayer’s Teat, is Full of Shit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chuck
Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  Chuck

Bingo

Bidan

“To annoy somebody. To act as something you are not. To act outside of the context of a given situation, therefore annoying everybody around you. To make dumb comments. To make obnoxious noises.”

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Bidan

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago

I thought “biden” was the singular of “bidet” plural?

Don
Don
1 month ago

For more modestly priced new cannon try Hern Iron Works 3610 West Hern Ave Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814 208-765-3115. They make a huge assortment of full scale and half scale cannon.
I always cringed when no one called Biden on his lie. It is somewhat like a police chief or sheriff saying his officers were out-gunned by the crooks. No reporters ask “WHY?” since cops can have anything they want.

Rogue
Rogue
1 month ago

Joe and his handlers have no clue whatsoever about gun ownership, the 2A or Constitutional rights of Americans. What they do have is a desire to disseminate disinformation and deceive the uninformed and ignorant populace.

Don
Don
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogue

I prefer to call Biden’s handlers his Nursing Aides.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogue

I beg to differ in that he knows enough about rights and the Constitution to fear them both.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogue

At some point, you have to take a large segment of the “uninformed” and “ignorant” columns and slide them over into the “stupid” column.

loveaduck
loveaduck
1 month ago

How about a submarine?

Don
Don
1 month ago
Reply to  loveaduck

You can buy a Russian sub like several people have.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  Don

Can we get a discount for being Trump supporters?

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
1 month ago
Reply to  loveaduck

“The Right To Keep And Bear Arms”,so yes a submarine would qualify as a arm.

JimmyS
JimmyS
1 month ago

You’re kind of an idiot, Logan. Presidents don’t issue laws. There was no “government” as distinct and separate from the People during the Revolution. The Constitution formed the government of the US. So ALL cannon during the Revolution were owned by individuals, whether private persons, privateers, or militia members or leaders.

In reality, the government of the US was constrained to own NO PROPERTY, as only actual living persons could own property up until the designation of “corporation” came into being, and governments became incorporated here on this continent.

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
1 month ago
Reply to  JimmyS

Vulgarity, name calling, strawman claims, and personal attacks are not a substitute for civil communication, logical argument, or facts. YOU WIN THE WEASAL AWARD: For distinguished use of words and phases communicating vague or ambiguous impressions that something meaningful has been said.

Vulgarity is not a substitute for logic, facts, or civility. Go back to the gutter with the rest of the trolls. You are part of the problem; not the solution.
BLOCKED!

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

You are the problem my lying X prison guard that needs a carry permit in order to carry a firearm that worked at the capital building when the Kommiefornians came to OreGONE and you let them mess it up along with all your other buddies working in the capital with their BA/BS degrees and now you continue to be a problem on here with your stupid ideas that only people who served should have the right to vote and people imprisoned should loose that right forever which would result in the loss of another 2nd amendment supporter and create enemies… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by musicman44mag
Don
Don
1 month ago
Reply to  JimmyS

NO. The Continental Congress allocated money to buy guns, including cannon.

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
1 month ago

The only existing “restriction” to civilian cannon ownership… is cost! 🙂

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  JoeUSooner

Correctamundo, and the Kool-Aid is also a restriction because people tend to believe whatever they are told by their master so cost and Kool-Aid are the only thing restricting peoples freedom.

JNew
JNew
1 month ago
Reply to  JoeUSooner

Not to mention exorbitant taxes on top of that cost.

Don
Don
1 month ago
Reply to  JNew

There is no extra tax on muzzle loading cannon. Cannon firing fixed cartridges have a $200 FET. There is a 6% sales tax on the Hern cannons.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  Don

You can get smaller full size cannons from Hern starting st s couple hundred bucks. I had one, think it was a half scale Napoleon, sized just right for billiard balls. Never had a chance to fire it. It got submerged along with the ground floor of my house, and I let a neighbor carry it off. The problem is not cost, its weight and lack of portability. You really need to make a technical out of it.

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
1 month ago
Reply to  JoeUSooner

That is the only restriction anyone should have for firearms. Cost. If there were restrictions, it should be on the government having small arms. Governments use them to suppress and oppress citizens door-to-door. If tanks, planes, and ships could suppress civilian militias, then the Viet Cong would have been ended in months. Every sane citizen with a clean record should be required to be armed for public safety and national security; OR pay a $200 tax stamp to be unarmed.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

Moron, idiot troll OroGONEIAN get off the board and go have coffee and donuts with your jailer buddies. We don’t care for your attitude towards other contributors on this web site or your never ending diatribes you copy and paste because you have no original thought and the ones that you do have make no common sense.

Troll.

Last edited 1 month ago by musicman44mag
JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
25 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

You sound like an anonymous troll intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating their perception with your inflammatory, insincere, digressive, extraneous, and off-topic comment. Your denial, dishonesty, and deflection are indisputably incontrovertibly conspicuously crystal clear-cut. You spout the same old narrative of endless inbred bloggers playing the telephone game with factoids and never-do-well high school dropouts who never learned how to discipline their thinking with facts or logic.

Russn8r
Russn8r
25 days ago

Another schart.

GmanNM
GmanNM
25 days ago

Wow! You really have no concept of liberty. To REQUIRE a citizen to do or have something or else pay a fine (your words were “tax stamp”) is so anti-freedom that it is amazing you even identify as being an American. You truly need to study history – especially the history of the foundations and implementation the greatest opportunity for freedom in the world. And then take a look at all the world’s despots and how they were able to rise to power. As the grand finale, compare the scope of our government (size, cost, inspect on daily lives of… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by GmanNM
JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
25 days ago
Reply to  GmanNM

LET ME EDUCATE YOU. Freedom requires personal responsibility. Be responsible for your own freedom, public safety, and national security. STRAP ON A SIDEARM! Liberty means not being a free range slave to a republic who refuses to give me a vote on the issues, the laws we live under, the taxes we pay, and foreign wars we use to suppress others with door-to-door “democracy.” Democracy is NOT forcing others to have your republican form of government. Republics are run by a mob of misrepresentatives acting as wolves and treating citizens as mutton and lambs on the menu. So, requiring you… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
25 days ago

Sorry don’t need an education from a communist troll like you. We are tired of your arrogant I know everything cut and paste attitude.

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
25 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

You do not have an education, logical, argument, facts, or civility. You deserve no more than a cut and paste when you keep repeating the same fallacious nonsense. You sound like an anonymous troll intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating their perception with your inflammatory, insincere, digressive, extraneous, and off-topic comment. Your denial, dishonesty, and deflection are indisputably incontrovertibly conspicuously crystal clear-cut. You spout the same old narrative of endless inbred bloggers playing the telephone game with factoids and never-do-well high school dropouts who never learned how to discipline their thinking with facts or logic. Vulgarity,… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
25 days ago

don’t need an education from a kommy troll like you. We are tired of your everything paste and knowledge database and especially your arrogance. Lord Schart.

GmanNM
GmanNM
25 days ago

GmanNM
GmanNM
24 days ago
Reply to  GmanNM

Schat – Driving is a privilege that requires financial security for the protection of people who might be injured when some drunk or drugged driver gets on the road – it’s not a violation of my liberty since I agree to abide by social constructs for the good. Somehow requiring someone to exercise one or more of our civil rights by the demand of a mob is not liberty. I have and continue to do a good job of providing security for myself, family, and neighbors from rabid skunks like yourself. What kind of arms I choose to use are… Read more »

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
24 days ago
Reply to  GmanNM

Driving on property not your own is a privilege. Period. It is not a right. Unlike driving, self-defense is a natural self-evident natural right; not a privilege. The purpose of a license is to certify you understand the law and have the skills to drive. It is not a right, civil or otherwise. I might say you sound like an anonymous troll intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating their perception with your inflammatory, insincere, digressive, extraneous, and off-topic comment. Your denial, dishonesty, and deflection are indisputably incontrovertibly conspicuously crystal clear-cut. You spout the same old narrative… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
25 days ago

“Every sane citizen should be required to be armed for public safety & national security; OR pay a $200 tax stamp to be unarmed.” Pretty self-serving, Scharf: You’d be exempt. As to the VC. The Vietnam War aka “Conflict” was not fought to win; not strategically, generally not even tactically. Directed by the likes of McNamara who never tried to win hearts & minds — despite the slogan — else the corrupt scum running S. Vietnam would’ve been replaced with honorable leaders. The enemy capitol was only bombed 11 days — & Haiphong mined — towards the end when Nixon… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Russn8r
JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
25 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

LET ME EDUCATE YOU. Freedom requires personal responsibility. Be responsible for your own freedom, public safety, and national security. STRAP ON A SIDEARM! 

Wass
Wass
1 month ago

President Biden contends, non-military need fighter jets and nuclear weapons to be effective against a standing army. As anyone who follows the latest news might know, US forces are leaving Afghanistan, this coming September 11, without having really secured the country. Those Taliban did pretty well without the above weapons.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Wass

Ya and it really pisses me off that he chose that date. To me it is a slap in Americas face and a cheer for the muslim bastards. I bet Omar is really proud of him.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

Certainly calculated.

JPM
JPM
1 month ago
Reply to  Wass

Ask any of us Vietnam and Vietnam era vets about needing jets and nukes to be effective against a standing army.

Quatermain
Quatermain
1 month ago

That’s Resident Biden, not President Biden.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  Quatermain

That’s right and I don’t have to do a damn thing he dictates or obey any un-constitutional rules because I swore an oath to the Republic not the Vatican/Crowns New World Order so for the record those NWO controls mean not a damn thing to me.

https://rumble.com/vcxuwb-when-they-say-they-are-just-doing-their-job-just-remember-adolph-hitler-nev.html

Last edited 1 month ago by Patriot Solutions
loveaduck
loveaduck
1 month ago

Dislike Catholics or just the Pope?

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  loveaduck

Nothing in my statement points to disliking anybody but now that you mention it the pope is one sick bastard but isn’t it wonderful how everybody now knows of the Vatican/Crown NWO instead of telling me that it’s a conspiracy theory like I have been told for years……..

Last edited 1 month ago by Patriot Solutions
musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

Amen to that one. Blame it all on the almighty dollar. That is what rules everything especially those in power. From King James and the catholic trying to control the people and the money to the current queen of england to the dictators in other countries. It’s all about power and money not the people.

From Oregone’s dump, portlandia.

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
25 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

King James was not Roman Catholic. He only ruled Britain and its Church by collecting “royalties” from sales of his “Bible.” Every republic is run by dictators. Money is the method of swapping wealth preferred by devout capitalists like me. If you hate the “almighty dollar” let me take all yours off your hands, childish trolll.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
25 days ago

Too bad your reading comprehension is obstructed by your self indulgent attitude I am Lord Schart attitude.

The reference to almighty dollar also extended to other countries and they don’t all use the dollar, moron.

Get off my leg troll dog.

Happy Independence day.

Last edited 25 days ago by musicman44mag
Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  loveaduck

Is this the Catholic Church that is constantly asking for donations for the poor, the sick, or the survivors of some disaster somewhere; while it hoards it’s gold and art treasures?

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Quatermain

Current stolen election liar and thief.

hippybiker
hippybiker
1 month ago

i got 30 days in FB jail for expressing this fact. According to them, this fact goes against their community standards!

Jonesy
Jonesy
1 month ago
Reply to  hippybiker

hippybiker, FakeBook’s community standards are strictly Perversions.

Boz
Boz
1 month ago
Reply to  hippybiker

Because you spoke the truth. Truth ist verboten on Fbook.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Boz

and in demonrat circles.

RayJN
RayJN
1 month ago
Reply to  hippybiker

They can’t handle the truth. To them freedom of speech is the right to agree with them.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  RayJN

We both know that 1A protects speech that is not liked and this includes swearing. FB is being sued into oblivion around the rock right now and it’s just starting here in America. The cash cow is coming home for those who are censored. Be like hitting the lottery now when we get censored. Save your posts on a word file for the big paycheck so you have a record and with a little luck you may hit pay dirt.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  RayJN

Lynard Skynnard. You got that right.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  hippybiker

And we are proud of your standards. Keep up the good work.

Montana454Casull
Montana454Casull
1 month ago

Everytime Joe Biden opens his mouth lies fly out and it just proves what a complete idiot he is . Who actually voted for the moron ? Definitely not our legitimate president , just a Joe Biden clownshow !

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
1 month ago

What a Maroon he and his clown show are.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Green Mtn. Boy

and the hoe’s. Wonder if she got the job with uncle Joe like she did willy brown???

incorrigible
incorrigible
1 month ago

And, you can make your own cannon. I remember Hunter’s Lodge advertising anti-tank guns for sale, in the American Rifleman.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago

I’m saving for an A-10.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

I can’t fly for medical reasons but I can be part of your ground support group reloading and fueling if you would let me..

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
25 days ago

The FIM-92 Stinger is a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) that operates as an infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM) and weighs less than 35 pounds. Turkey makes a version of it for less than $38,000. A M-388 Davy Crockett nuclear weapon weighs less than 51 pounds and can designed to be deployed by special forces.  If your source of “rights” is the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment enumerated the right to “bear” arms. Bear means to carry the weight of; support OR to endure an ordeal or difficulty. If you can bear a jet, tank, or ship, I suspect your superpowers are… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
16 days ago

I met a guy, about 40 years ago, who carried the backpack version of that Davey Crockett device, somewhere in Southeast Asia.

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
16 days ago

A one third megaton nuke weighs 300 pounds without the shell of the bomb. It would flatten Manhattan and contaminate all the gold there. FedEx internationally ships Up to 2,200 lbs. per piece (or more with prior approval). Unlimited total shipment weight.. So, Iran could FedEx seven nukes from 70 different locations in Dubai, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Pakistan, Shenzhen China, or Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. It took the US four years to make its first plutonium bombs from a reactor and uranium bombs from centrifuges. Iran started its nuclear weapons program in 2004, but the suitcase bombs might have… Read more »

StreetSweeper
StreetSweeper
1 month ago

He’s also stated you cannot buy a flamethrower. Not only can you buy a flamethrower, you don’t even need to go through an FFL, it’ll ship directly to your home. He’s just flat-out dumb.

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
25 days ago
Reply to  StreetSweeper

He is not dumb. Biden would not have his job if he did not know the level of ignorance of the Democratic Party.

DDS
DDS
1 month ago

“Say it ain’t so, Joe!”