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With gun owners increasingly aware of the Jewish leadership of the gun-banning movement, a group of Jews in Milwaukee claiming to be defenders of the Second Amendment have been noisily denouncing gun control as a "Nazi" scheme. The group, calling themselves Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, assert that Adolf Hitler was the father of all gun grabbers. The proof of this, they claim, was the German Weapons Law (Waffengesetz) of March 18, 1938, which was enacted by Germany's National Socialist government. They have succeeded in persuading at least one magazine read by firearms enthusiasts to publicize their claims repeatedly (Guns and Ammo, May 1993 and March 1994).
The truth of the matter is that the 1938 German law specifically provided for the ownership and carrying of firearms, including handguns, by law-abiding German citizens. Jews, of course, were not German citizens -- the National Socialists defined citizenship in ethnic terms -- and the law specifically barred Jews from having any role in the manufacture of firearms or ammunition or from being firearms dealers (but not from purchasing or owning firearms).
The German law certainly was not an ideal one from the viewpoint of today's beleaguered American patriot, because it did have certain licensing requirements. A permit (Waffenerwerbschein) was required to buy a handgun (but not a long gun), and a separate license (Waffenschein), good for three years, was required to carry any firearm in public. Actually, the German law was less restrictive than most state and local laws in the United States were before the current campaign to nullify the Second Amendment shifted into high gear in 1993. More significantly, it ameliorated a law which had been enacted ten years earlier by a Left-Center government hostile to the National Socialists (the government headed by Wilhelm Marx and consisting of a coalition of Socialists and Catholic Centrists). The 1938 law irritated the Jews by pointedly excluding them from the firearms business, but it clearly was not a law aimed at preventing the ownership or use of firearms, including handguns, for either sporting or self-defense purposes by German citizens. As noted above, it actually relaxed or eliminated the provisions of a pre-existing law.
The facts, in brief, are these:
* The National Socialist government of Germany did not fear its citizens. Adolf Hitler was the most popular leader Germany has ever had.
* The spirit of National Socialism was one of manliness, and individual self-defense and self-reliance were central to the National Socialist view of the way a citizen should behave. The notion of banning firearms ownership was alien to National Socialism.
* Gun registration and licensing (for long guns as well as for handguns) were legislated by an anti-National Socialist government in Germany five years before the National Socialists gained power. Five years after they gained power they got around to rewriting the gun law enacted by their predecessors, substantially ameliorating it in the process (for example, long guns were exempted from the requirement for a purchase permit; the legal age for gun ownership was lowered from 20 to 18 years; and the period of validity of a permit to carry weapons was extended from one to three years). They may be criticized for leaving certain restrictions and licensing requirements in the law, but they had no intention of preventing law-abiding Germans from keeping or bearing arms.
The highlights of the 1938 German Weapons Law (which in its entirety fills 12 pages of the Reichsgesetzblatt with legalese), especially as it applied to ordinary citizens rather than manufacturers or dealers, follow:
* Handguns may be sold or purchased only on submission of a Weapons Acquisition Permit (Waffenerwerbschein), which must be used within one year from the date of issue. Muzzle-loading handguns are exempted from the permit requirement.
* Holders of a permit to carry weapons (Waffenschein) or of a hunting license do not need a Weapons Acquisition Permit in order to acquire a handgun.
* A hunting license authorizes its bearer to carry hunting weapons and handguns.
* Firearms and ammunition, as well as swords and knives, may not be sold to minors under the age of 18 years.
* Whoever carries a firearm outside of his dwelling, his place of employment, his place of business, or his fenced property must have on his person a Weapons Permit (Waffenschein). A permit is not required, however, for carrying a firearm for use at a police-approved shooting range.
* A permit to acquire a handgun or to carry firearms may only be issued to persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a permit. In particular, a permit may not be issued to:
1. persons under the age of 18 years;
2. legally incompetent or mentally retarded persons;
3. Gypsies or vagabonds;
4. persons under mandatory police supervision (i.e., on parole) or otherwise temporarily without civil rights;
5. persons convicted of treason or high treason or known to be engaged in activities hostile to the state;
6. persons who for assault, trespass, a breach of the peace, resistance to authority, a criminal offense or misdemeanor, or a hunting or fishing violation, were legally sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than two weeks, if three years have not passed since the term of imprisonment.
* The manufacture, sale, carrying, possession, and import of the following are prohibited:
1. "trick" firearms, designed so as to conceal their function (e.g., cane guns and belt-buckle pistols);
2. any firearm equipped with a silencer and any rifle equipped with a spotlight;
3. cartridges with .22 caliber, hollow-point bullets.
That is the essence. Numerous other provisions of the law relate to firearms manufacturers, importers, and dealers; to acquisition and carrying of firearms by police, military, and other official personnel; to the maximum fees which can be charged for permits (3 Reichsmarks); to tourists bringing firearms into Germany; and to the fines and other penalties to be levied for violations. (A full text and translation of these German gun laws is available from National Vanguard Books, PO Box 330, Hillsboro WV 24946 USA, for $14 postpaid.)
The requirements of "trustworthiness" and of proof of need when obtaining a permit are troubling, but it should be noted that they were simply carried over from the 1928 law: they were not formulated by the National Socialists. Under the National Socialists, these requirements were interpreted liberally: a person who did not fall into one of the prohibited categories listed above was considered trustworthy, and a statement such as, "I often carry sums of money," was accepted as proof of need.
The prohibitions of spotlight-equipped rifles and hollow-point .22 caliber ammunition were based on considerations that the former were unsporting when used for hunting, and the latter were inhumane.
It was not until 1945, when the communist and democratic victors of the Second World War had installed occupation governments to rule over the conquered Germans that German citizens were denied the right to armed self-defense.
Despite these facts, there are a number of people among those who support Second Amendment rights who have fallen for the Jewish trick of associating gun-grabbing with Hitler and the National Socialists. These people sometimes make such statements as, "The first thing Hitler did when he came to power was round up all the guns." Such statements are demonstrably false, and when they are made by a person who genuinely supports Second Amendment rights they reveal the person's ignorance or dishonesty. When they are made by a Jewish group it is clear that their intent is to confuse the public and deceitfully deflect blame from their fellow Jews.