The 1986 Machine Gun Ban, was in-fact a total gun ban on civilian machine gun ownership. I believe this was the first actual Federal total “Ban” of any firearm in U.S. History.
Guns manufactured before the ban were essentially “grandfathered” in and people were still allowed to own them and to buy/sell from this finite and therefore ever shrinking supply. A combination or scarcity/increasing values and literally rust/wear and tear will at some point in the next 100 years make operational machine guns a great rarity.
Based on the U.S. Constitution and the Heller decision, this ban is illegal. Prior to the ban,it was often often stated that U.S. civilians owned more machine guns than the U.S. military and police combined. Whether this is still true, I’m not sure; BATFE puts the number at 543,073 today.
This should satisfy the “In Common Usage” test in Heller.
Once a right is lost or denied,it takes decades to get it back.