Common Misconception

Contrary to popular belief, even amongst gunny people, automatic firearms — that is, machine guns — are not necessarily illegal to own.
While some states (looking at you, California) heavily restrict or prohibit them, most states have only minor, if any, restrictions above and beyond federal law.
Sure, there are some hoops to jump through (a one-time $200 NFA tax, local police approval, ATF approval, fingerprints, background checks, interstate travel restrictions, etc.), but it’s less paperwork than buying a car…though it does take about a month for the paperwork to get approved by the ATF.
There’s not even any “license” to own them. There’s a license requirement for dealers, but private citizens simply need an approved ATF form (most seem to be on a Form 4). That’s it. You don’t give up any privacy rights: the feds can’t stop by and search your property any more than they could before, they’re not going to tap your phones.
Just thought I’d help clear this up.

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