History of the NFA and NFA firearms
Hi newbie here with a question for the more historically minded. I've been researching the National Firearms recently and its passage in 1934. While I have no doubt it unfortunately passed congress I was curious as to what the popularity of NFA items were prior to the passage of the act in 1934. I have heard estimates for machine guns alone as being anywhere between 1-2 million privately owned in the early 1930s plus millions of suppressors which at the time would sell for as little as $3-10. Also if I have heard correctly a large number of soldiers returned from the first World War with weapons collected from enemies as war trophies without the need to deactivate them since in 1918 they were perfectly legal.
The reason I was asking is one of the constitutional tests the Supreme Court has placed on the protection of firearms rights in Federal and Supreme Court decisions post DC v Heller is whether the weapon is "in common use at the time" and whether it is "dangerous [or] unusual." If it could be proven that suppressors, short barreled rifles or shotguns, or machineguns WOULD HAVE been more commonly owned sans the passage of major Federal gun legislation since the 1930s or the post-1986 registration ban would the courts have a harder time upholding the constitutionality of such measures? Probably not given the cultural anathema to the word "machinegun" or "silencer" but for our own sake I thought it would be helpful to know.
I apologize if this belongs in another section of the forum but I figured people in this section would probably know the most.