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Can the Government Seize Your Gold and Silver?

One rising concern around the world is whether or not governments will allow gold and silver to continue to compete with paper currencies. Fiat money has been steadily declining in value, while the precious metals markets have been heating up. There’s no way the control freaks in government haven’t noticed. The question is, what can they really do about it?

From the past, we know that one tactic is to make it illegal for private citizens to own gold and silver. This happened in the U.S. in 1933. While modern writers like to remember this as the time the government confiscated private gold supplies, the reality was that precious metals were nationalized. It’s a small but important distinction. No one went door to door seizing precious metals supplies – they were voluntarily traded for market value at gold windows and banks. The rules governing this exchange and the rules protecting pre-1933 as exempt collectibles were voided when Nixon closed the gold windows in 1971.

Fast forwarding to the present day, we have looming a looming currency crisis on our hands. To make ends meet, the governments of the world will be resorting to desperate measures. Knowing nationalization happened in the past, could modern governments take things one step further and come seize your gold and silver to make ends meet?

An Issue of Obedience

First and foremost, any attempt by the government to outlaw gold and silver or force precious metals owners to give up their holdings is going to meet a basic issue of obedience. Very few people are going to go along with this. We can all see that our dollars, pounds, and euros are declining, and we’re not interested in playing along.

In 1933, millions of American’s didn’t comply with the government’s orders. They put their gold in their pianos or melted their silver into paperweights. That was back in a time when the public was more obedient overall and public forums to spread information like Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist.

Now we have people occupying Wall Street and libertarian ideals are widely celebrated. You think that realistically the mainstream would go for an asset seizure? Not likely! We’d hide our gold and silver, say it was lost or stolen, and move underground with trading systems. The government could try to track down individual coins and bars, but given the success of the music industry in stopping downloads that happen in the much more easily monitored online world, the offline hoarders of gold and silver will probably get away scott-free.

An Issue of Logistics

The next major hurdle in any government attempt to seize private gold and silver would be the logistics of collecting it. If we don’t voluntarily give it up – and we won’t – how are they going to get it? Short on employees and federal agents, the government would probably turn to local police to get the job done. That’s the same enforcement system that allows 40 percent of the American public to regularly use recreational drugs and millions of illegal aliens to walk right across our borders.

There would be very public wins for the government, since big players would make easy targets. Wall Street-supported gold and silver ETF’s would be toast, and the gold storage systems of the major New York banks would likely be raided. After that, police would be forced to go door to door to try and uncover and seize assets. This would mean needing to research who has gold and silver, get a warrant, organize transport, get over there, and find it. It would be time consuming and expensive, meaning that small players (you and me) aren’t going to be worth their time.

Then there’s the communication side. Twitter already tells you where there are speed traps on the highway, and there are apps for smartphones that track police bands. We’ve created technologies that allow ourselves to be more easily monitored by our governments, but the watching eyes can go two ways. We can see them coming and plan accordingly.

An Issue of Image

Last but not least, there’s the issue of image. America and Europe still like to think of themselves as wealthy, successful nations. Who wants to be the first one to crack and admit they’re dead broke? Which government wants to go viral on YouTube kicking in citizen’s doors to rob them?

Can you imagine the nightly news, full of crying retirees weeping over being robbed by the government? Our Chinese creditors would certainly take note of our desperate poverty and come calling. No government in the world wants to trigger that phone call, and almost every major government in the world is in hock to the Chinese.

This isn’t to say that the governments of the world won’t make it harder to purchase or sell gold and silver in the public markets. That’s already started in both Europe and the United States, but smart buyers are working around it. For governments, the trouble is that the modern world is a bit more complicated than the world in 1933. We have more options available to work outside traditional bank networks and more leverage in being off the grid. Try though they might to take back control of commerce, the governments of the world will face issues of obedience, logistics, and image if they try to come after private gold and silver. It’s doubtful that any one of them is ready to risk it … yet.

©2011 Off the Grid News

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. The government could confiscate gold again (and that is essentially what they did in 1933), but it might be too unwieldy for them to do so. However, I have no doubt that they are going to put a prohibitive tax on gold/silver transactions, making it impractical and unprofitable for people to use gold or silver as an investment or as money.

  2. Yeah, and how are they going to collect that tax when people are transacting directly? Not going to happen. The only reason they can charge sales tax is that the big stores collect if for them. They’ll only get spit in the eye if they ask me to collect for them. I owe the government nothing. They owe me what they’ve stolen through inflation from the day I was born.

    • As long as America’s population conntiues to increase, it will be impossible to keep the same standard of living we have today or even 20 years ago. Every recession from here on out will be worse than the previous one because more and more people will be without jobs and the basic resources to survive. If you want to solve the economic and environmental problems of the world, lower population humanely so our standard of living will rise. Alarger economy will not equal a higher living standard

      • Seriously Sam? Exactly what are you implying? Lower the population humanely? Ok let’s start with you. do you volunteer? How about your loved ones? Goodness people like you make me sick! If we really want to make a change…close the borders (really actually close them, not make excuses for them), get people off the dole (sorry, no freebies, you actually have to work! That will stop the baby-makers from making more unwanted children so they can keep the welfare coming). That right there would make a HUGE dent…what you are talking about is just plain sick!

  3. The John and Jane does of the country have had enough and there mad as **** ad their not going to take it any more,or will they. I love my country but the rascals in Washington have not proven to this American that they give a tinkers dam about me and my family,let along yours. They walk on and over the Constitution of the United States every waking moment. they tell us that the bill’s are to long to read and it takes a genius to understand them, or wait until the bill is passed and then you’ll see what’s in it. There’s a movie I like to watch it’s called Mr. Smith goes to Washington and they pick Jefferson Smith to be their next Senator and he will be told how to vote on all bills. If he plays along and keeps his mouth shut and does what he’s told to do, he’ll do just fine. Appears the Taylor’s of the world are still here in the 21st century. When there more concern about the kind of light bulbs we can use in our home,then the plight of the dying peoples in this country and the world,do you think that they care about your rights to own gold or silver. If they know you have it they’ll stop at nothing in order to get it. It appears that just voting the bums out of office is not enough. Thanks for letting me have my save. Sorry to be so negative. Thanks SP

    • Investing in gold is in the form of coins or bars purchased from banks and aothurized dealers. Gold is a powerful hedge against inflation and rising crude oil prices which is why it has appreciated significantly over the past 3-5 years.For investing in gold and metals (silver), take a look at The Gold Vault by Les Oke. It’s a fantastic strategy guide’ detailing current ideas to increase portfolio strength and build lifelong wealth.

  4. Well, there is STILL LAW on the books that would permit the government to attempt to confiscate, or force compliance to turn over privately held gold to them. It is not likely to happen in the general flow of life, but history tends to repeat itself. The issues that lead to the first confiscation seem to be in the works for the not too distant future unless things change drastically.

    I have a presentation that directly addresses this question

  5. They can only take your gold and silver if you submit…

    The time has come for Americans to stand and resist in numbers, not just on this issue, but on the multitude of other unconstitutional issues we are being assaulted with.

  6. Absolutely right, Bob L…. It was FEAR that drove Americans to hand over their metals in 1933. The question now is “Do Americans of today have the guts to resist? Remains to be seen.

  7. While a systematic confiscation of so called hard assets ;gold,silver platinum,etc by the govt. can be seen as a sign of end of times or rebalancing of exististing paper currencies . There are ways to protect yourself from currency devaluation that doesn’t involve hoarding precious metals. Become self sufficient, do not go into debt buying the latest got to have it electronic gizmo, pay as you go. The same problems the govt has, borrowing against future earnings is the same thing you do when you use a credit card to fund a purchase. Do you rea
    Ly need it? Must you have it? Can you do without? Answer any of these questions honestly and be influenced by you decision. MAKE DUE!! OR DO WITHOUT!,

    • Was scrolling through the comments and inadvertantly clicked the “Report Comment” Sorry as hell about that since I pretty much agree that any sort of “money’ only has as much value as a government will allow it to hold.

      At any rate, was not able to see a way to undo that click.

    • Ummm… I agree that you should avoid debt. However, that’s not going to stop the rapid deflation of your dollar. You can avoid debt all you want, but when your money isn’t worth a loaf of bread at the grocery store, I don’t care how little debt you have, you’re still in trouble. Silver and gold won’t lose value, but your money will. Go ahead and avoid debt. I like that idea. But take all that extra paper that you’ll be saving, and trade it for gold and silver. Your money is nothing but worthless paper, backed by nothing more than a corrupt and failing government.

      Every dollar that you own is somebody else’s debt. That’s how the government keeps “injecting” cash into society. For every dollar that you deposit into your bank account, they loan out ten dollars. Where does that extra ten dollars come from? The Federal Reserve. That’s how they are printing money out of thin air, and that’s why your cash, or “asset”, is somebody else’s debt, or “liability”. This is how our monetary system works.

      Why do you think that the government is so interested in keeping interest rates low? It’s not because they give a sh*t whether or not you are able to buy a new home or car, it’s because if people stopped borrowing, they would be forced to stop injecting money into the economy. Once they lose the power to keep printing money, they lose ALL of their power. And God knows, they are not going to give that up easily.

  8. Well there is the other option, that most tend to overlook, and will sell themselves into slavery for… FOOD. Only 1% live totally off grid, and then you have maybe 25% more who actually know how to go back to he basics of living, and have prepared todo so. That leaves the rest, the main body of the population, many of whom have no ideawhat to do if their power went out or if the store shelves were empty. So they would collect up what they have of value and hand it over, in times of famine, just like in the Bible.
    Only there isn’t a pharoah storing up for 7 good years, to weather the bad years. During that time, the jews sold themselves into slavery to pharoah, to keep from starving. What do you think they’ll do this time?

    • abyssdreamr – the government is already looking into who is “hoarding” (storing) food. The feds in TN raided a Mormon pantry asking for a list of customers and what they bought. Thankfully the pantry did not have that information.

      The government is force and they will eventually take your guns, food and gold.

  9. Ok folks stop and consider where we are as a country now and where were we at the end of 2008.Now just for a moment let’s all pretend the the governemt works for us(I think the constitution had this novel idea ).So if we are the boss and the government works for us than the upcoming election is really a job review of the performance of the last four years.We gave the folks in Washington a preliminary review in 2010 and let it be known that we were not happy with the way they were performong but have we really seen any improvement since then?If all of you out there are really concerned with our freedoms then now is the time to get busy choosing new employees for the next four years who will better reflect the views of the majority of the people.It has been written that people get the government they deserve so if we only complain and still wallow in apathy then we will all have a front row seat to observe the destruction of what is still the country representing humanities last best hope.

  10. Anyone familiar with Greg Palist and his investigative journalism knows that the system is hopelessly corrupt. Unfortunately, you now have to vote with your wallet/checkbook. Money props up power, and power corrupts. If your money is parked in a “too big to fail” bank, your part of the problem. Visiting Walmart, your part of the problem. We are enabling these ill people. Voting the puppets in DC. out of office is just one of the many weapons at our disposal. Make no mistake, they are at war with every man, woman, and child. The elite are playing hardball. The only way to really get their attention is to take your money out of their corrupt system. Your only enabling our demise. Turn off Honey Boo Boo, and turn on your educational awakening. We need to stand united. Follow the money. These people (1%) are criminals. They do not respect law, they purchase the souls who make the laws. If the US Gov. can now detain you indefinitely without trial, I think its safe to say that they will do what ever floats their fancy. GET YOUR MONEY OUT!!!

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