"Littlefield, whose collection included tanks from World War I as well as vehicles used in recent decades, passed away in 2009. In order to legally own most of the vehicles, he had to "demilitarize" them, rendering them incapable of firing real ammunition."
From the article itself.
"A few, however, remained fully capable weapons and anyone buying them would be subject to stringent screening and will need special permits.
Among those that were still fully operational when sold was a British Centurion Mk 13 Main Battle Tank that went for the relative bargain price of $92,000."
Even buying the operable ones was not something just anyone who was insane could do.
I do not believe that the private sector should be allowed to own military weapons. There is no reason, other than for display, that a person should have a military grade weapon. Allowing the sale of military grade weapons to the public or private sector is opening up the possibility of abuse by these people who should not have a reason to use them. Even if private ownership was legal and the mechanics of the weapon were removed to prevent use, people can still to find a way to repair the removed mechanics.
I do not believe that private ownership of military weapons should be legal. Any sort of dangerous weapons should have reasonable limitations placed upon them for the protection of the people as a whole. As weapons become more dangerous, the restrictions to access should be increased as well. There exists a maximum power of weapon that any ordinary citizen might find necessary, and anything above that power should be restricted due to the danger it poses for other citizens.
The right to bear arms is an important American principle. However, Americans generally have no business owning a scud missile launcher. This weapon serves no purpose in hunting and basic self-defense. While one could argue that need to arm oneself against government tyranny, the drawbacks of public ownership of this type of weapon are too significant.
I think this is a terrible idea and will lead to people suing the United States government. Imagine what would happen if a civilian used the weapons to hurt others, who would ultimately be blamed. I understand that the government wants to make some money off of equipment they don't use, but this is a horrible way to do it.