There have been many attempts by the government to ban several types of weapons. For instance, the firearms regulation act of 1975 was passed by the District of Columbia. That Act banned automatic handguns.
The Act was challenged , as it also required that guns in the home had to be unloaded or locked with a safety device. These requirements made the weapons useless if an individual wanted to use them to defend their home, in case an intruder should enter. Eventually, this portion of the Act was declared unconstitutional, as was the ban on automatic handguns.
In essence, the courts ruling determined that some forms of gun control were allowed. For instance, a ban on assault rifles could be legal, as it protected the safety of citizens by disallowing weapons that would most likely be used to commit crimes or against law enforcement. In fact, an automatic handgun is considered substantially more dangerous than those which must be hand loaded.
In addition to the Federal laws which govern gun control, each state has unique laws which may allow automatic handgun ownership. One reason why many states disallow ownership, is that the weapons are considered to be dangerous as they could easily be used against law enforcement, which may not have the same type of weapons, leaving them in danger.