In the US are there any legal limits on how big a gun collection can be?

You sometimes see news stories about the authorities busting someone who has a massive gun collection because someone saw it, got worried, and turned them in.

Assuming they lived in a locality where gun ownership was legal, if someone was very wealthy could they assemble a virtual arsenal of legal weapons without running afoul of US law? Other than financial limits is there anything to stop someone from assembling as many guns as they choose in one place?

As a side note lets say I go to the police and say “I was tagging along with my friend doing some re-modeling work at Mr. Quietguy’s house, and it’s is filled to the brim with all kinds of weapons. It looks like he’s getting ready for WWIII!”

Can they execute search warrant based just on this description?

I have always assumed the actual weapons arrest was because of the legality (or lack thereof) of some of the weapons in the collection, not the sheer quantity. I think that if the guy only had 200 legal hunting rifles and shotguns, I don’t think there is anything they could do. Throw in something that requires a FFL (assuming he/she doesn’t have one) or is otherwise banned and the number of weapons is irrelevant, just which ones are legal.

Usually it’s the illegal stuff that trips the person up, as stated. Numbers are irrelevant, AFAIK. At what point does a collection become an arsenal? I think it comes down to intent, which is difficult to prove.

As for a search warrant, they can execute one for anything they can talk a judge into signing off on. If they know the suspect has a number of weapons, they just have to convince the judge one or more of them might be illegal. Once they confiscate them all, it doesn’t matter anymore. The “suspect” will never get them all back without massive legal aid.

As soon as it’s mentioned on the local news.

I personally know people who have absolutely staggering collections of well over a thousand guns, all of them legal, so no harm done. I just want to be in the will.

Please note as a sidebar that in some areas there are fire ordinances that limit the maximum amount of ammunition that can be stored in a home. IIRC, in my county it is “20,000 rounds” of any type.

In certain states (such as the one I’m living in, unfortunately), there is a limit on how many handguns can be sold to an individual within a month, so if you were attempting to build a large collection that would hinder you somewhat.

As far as the number of guns, I know of no state law (besides those outlawing gun ownership completely) that addresses that issue.

Are there multiples of the same gun in these collections? I’m curious as to who someone would want to collect this many guns - isn’t there upkeep needed (oiling, etc.)?

Not really, so long as you keep them stored clean (lightly oiled) and dry and secure. Sometimes people get deals on large purchases of guns, and think that they can turn some sort of profit by selling them to friends. This IME rarely works, and the guns normally sit in a basement until finally they get sold at about what they were purchased for.

There are exceptions of course. A guy I knew in the 1990’s bought 10 pre-ban AK-47s with folding stock (AKS?) for about $3000 in 1989, anticipating an upcoming ban. He sold 4 of them for $5000 after the “assault weapons ban” of 1994.