Am I off-base here, or does the rise of federal gun control (GCA’34) shortly follow the expiry of the last waves of patents protecting the IP behind the semi-automatic box-magazine-loading handgun; and subsequently bringing cheap, portable, self-defense that fits in a pocket and doesn’t require lengthy training or recharge times? It’s not the only factor, but the availability of cheap pocket semis to the lower classes would tend to aggravate the fears of The Powers That Be, I’d think.
It looks like the semi-auto handgun was invented around the turn-of-the-century. I know from Tam’s historical articles on handguns that the patent wars surrounding repeating firearms makes the current Android-Apple spat look like weak beer indeed. Patent wars make products more expensive for a variety of reasons. Once those patents start expiring, cheap knock-offs are bound to follow, driving down the prices of the originals.