The ownership strategy would not be profit-maximising. It would include:
- Maintaining current sales to the military and (with less marketing effort) law enforcement;
- Dropping all sales to civilians of semi-automatic weapons, keeping only two-shot shotguns, one-shot bolt-action hunting rifles, and revolvers;
- Selling only through retailers committing to an enforceable code of practice including full background checks;
- Setting up an attack-dog legal department to protect patent and trademark IP very aggressively, to discourage new entrants;
- Dropping all connection with the NRA or other gun advocacy organisations.
For a few years, the gunmakers would lose money. So you have to add maybe another $1bn for restructuring costs. These would never be recovered, and represent the permanent net cost of the operation.
Notice what isn’t here: repeal of the Second Amendment. A Democratic Congress could, and should, pass this program with a simple majority vote. It would slow the spread of weapons of mass shooting, and give us time to deal with the huge inventory of dangerous weapons (perhaps by a voluntary buy-back program).