In 1933, President Roosevelt made it illegal for private individuals to own gold. It could happen again. From Tom Lewis at goldtelegraph.com:
People around the world love gold. It has always been the most reliable hedge against economic uncertainty. Yet few people consider that the government (who is usually responsible for the turndown in the first place), has the authority to seize your gold.
Historically, the government will seize gold when it’s the most valuable, during times when its fiat currency has become utterly devalued. When President Roosevelt made ownership of gold bullions illegal in 1933, the move was preceded by the boom of the Roaring Twenties, then the crash of 1929. Although Roosevelt didn’t call it gold confiscation; he preferred the term “gold hoarding.”
By the 1930s, the US government was facing its most severe financial crisis, and it needed gold (something of value), to stimulate the economy that was running on the fumes of fiat currency. So, it took people’s gold. It was as simple as that. Non-compliance was threatened with severe punishment.
We may be facing another financial crisis, and it might be best to avoid the role of fugitive “gold hoarder.” At this point, it doesn’t make sense for the government to confiscate private gold, as a cashless society will indirectly control peoples finances.
Why would the government seize gold? In 1933, under the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, the dollar had to be backed by 40 percent gold. This would give the Federal Reserve room to print new money when needed. What’s a government to do when it needs to print money, but doesn’t have the gold reserves needed to back it up? It passes an Executive Order making gold ownership illegal but buys up the illegal gold itself. That’s what Roosevelt did. When the government continued to print more money, it declared ownership of silver illegal a year later.
To continue reading: Yes, The U.S. Government Can Still Confiscate Gold