Tags: Gun Control | guns | heckler koch | firearms

Heckler & Koch's Controversy: How the Firearms Brand Stirred Up Debate

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 11:36 AM

From its humble beginnings in a tiny post-war town, Heckler & Koch has become an important supplier to the global law enforcement community. There have been times that firearms giant has become ensnared in controversial international arms deals.

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In 2010, Jürgen Grässlin, German anti-armaments activist and spokesperson for the German Peace Society, filed criminal charges against H&K for violating export laws to Mexico. While the German government granted the sale of over 9,500 guns to Mexico in 2007, the condition of the sale was that they not be used in four provinces. Included in this list of banned provinces was Guerrero, where security is considered corrupt. When reports emerged that H&K employees were training forces in Guerrero to operate the G36 rifle, Grasslin filed charges.

"Experience tells us that Heckler & Koch's assault rifles can be fully functional for around 50 years," Grässlin told the German news outlet DW.de. "The consequences for Mexico will be fatal. In these first years, extremely corrupt Mexican police officers will shoot and kill demonstrators and other defenseless people with these illegally exported German assault rifles. In the years and decades to come the drug mafia there will use them after buying or taking them from the police."

In September 2014, six student teachers were killed when police fired on their protest in Iguala (in the state of Guerrero.) Thirty-six H&K rifles were seized. It eventually came to light that H&K employees forged documents to facilitate the transfer of firearms that ended up in Guerrero.

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There are concerns in other areas of the world as well.  New documents have just been revealed regarding the number of German weapon sales in the Middle East that show that one-third of all Middle Eastern weapons contracts went to Heckler and Koch, reported DW.de.

Saudi Arabia has a long history of human rights atrocities. There has been an outcry in Germany about selling arms to the middle eastern oil juggernaut. 

The socialist Left party MP Jan van Aken demanded that future weapons exports be made contingent on improvements in the human rights situation: “Whether it's Schröder, Merkel, [former Foreign Minister Joschka] Fischer, or Steinmeier, they all personally decided to put the instruments of oppression into the hands of the unjust regime in Saudi Arabia,” he said to DW.de.

Germany has already sold enough manufacturing equipment to Saudi Arabia so that the country is able to mint its own H&K G36 assault rifles, durable and high-quality firearm used by NATO forces.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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From its humble beginnings in a tiny post-war town, Heckler & Koch has become an important supplier to the global law enforcement community. There have been times that firearms giant has become ensnared in controversial international arms deals.
guns, heckler koch, firearms
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2015-36-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 11:36 AM
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