The Truth About Hitler, Guns, and German Gun Laws
The Facts about Hitler and Gun Control
Hitler condemned millions of people to death. He was responsible for the most horrific acts against mankind in the 20th century. Babies were murdered, and children experimented on in unimaginable ways. People were shot, gassed, hung, starved and tortured to death.
Many people are portraying Hitler as a pro-gun control dictator who was able to take over Germany by seizing the guns of German citizens.
But was he able to commit mass genocide because he was pro-gun control and disarmed the German people? Let's look at his, and Germany's history.
German Euthanasia Propaganda
Born in Austria, Hitler moved to Germany with his family when he was three.At 18 he enlisted in the German army during World War I, was wounded and awarded the Iron Cross. He became embittered at Germany's defeat, blaming it on Marxists, Jews, and weak German leaders.
Already a staunch patriot, his nationalism propelled him into politics. A powerful public speaker, he and the Nazi party eventually claimed complete control of the German government in 1933. Playing on the German people's patriotism and nationalism, Hitler set himself up as a dictator. He played on people's fears to shift the German citizen's resentment of their own hardship onto minorities and other perceived "takers" in society.
Not only were Jews blamed for Germany's woes, but anyone who was deemed a burden on society was marked for extermination. The handicapped, mentally ill, and minorities fell victim to his killing machine.
Post World War I Germany
Germany was in ruins after World War I, known then as the Great War. The German people had lost 15% of their young male population. Famine and the flu epidemic further took a toll on the population. The Treaty of Versailles put the entire blame of the war on Germany, and ordered her to pay huge reparations. The German citizens resented the treaty and the ceding of "their" land to other countries. The stage was set for Hitler, a charismatic speaker who could again instill nationalistic pride in the German citizens.
The 1919 German Weapons Ban.
In 1919, the German government, in response to the Treaty of Versailles, ordered the German people to turn over all firearms and ammunition. Anyone found in possession of a weapon would face imprisonment and a fine. The citizens were disarmed to prevent further aggression and to prevent government upheaval during these fractious times. Guns were confiscated from the German people a full 14 years before Hitler took control of Germany.
The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition
As Hitler and his Nazi party grew in power, the "Law on Firearms and Ammunition" was enacted. This law revoked the 1919 ban on guns. Germans were allowed to again own, transport, sell, and manufacture guns if they had a permit. The requirements as to who could obtain a permit was strictly regulated, but those German citizens who were deemed trustworthy by the government could again obtain guns.
Hitler and the 1938 Weapons Law
In 1938, Hitler - now the dictator - enacted the 1938 Weapons Law, which allowed native German non-Jews to manufacture firearms. Ironically, Hitler himself was a non-native German.
Hitler did away with the government permit process for shotguns, rifles, and ammunition. This law allowed the weapons to be freely sold and transported by native non-Jewish Germans.
The Weapons Law also exempted a larger group of citizens from the 1928 handgun permit law. Now anyone who had obtained a hunting license was also allowed to buy a handgun.
The law also allowed some individuals under 18 to acquire a handgun, a liberalization of the 1928 law.
The 1938 law extended the permit validity to three years versus the previous one year under the 1928 law. This represents another loosening of Germany's gun laws.
After World War I, the German government, by order of the Treaty of Versailles, stripped all citizens of their right to own guns. Though people of Jewish heritage were not allowed to own weapons, that is the only gun-control Hitler enacted. The 20 years after the 1919 total gun ban saw a great loosening of the laws, and more German citizens, not fewer, could buy weapons.
People argue that Hitler supported gun control because the people of the countries he conquered were required to turn in guns. I would think that is standard operating procedures during wartime.
History shows Hitler was not the man who used gun control to take over the German people. The German people made his rise possible.
Hitler enacted a law that ensured Jews could not have guns. We must ask ourselves - did the Jews even have guns in the years after World War I? It isn't likely. It is even more unlikely that even if they had had weapons, the Jews would - or could - have fought back against the German people who participated in, or turned a blind eye to, the round-up and mass extermination of millions of men, women, and children.
Hitler's gun control quote - if it's on the internet it must be true
"This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
You may have seen this quote attributed to a speech made by Adolf Hitler in 1935. There is absolutely no record of Hitler saying this. But since so many people want to believe it, it is now quoted by the NRA and other anti-gun control advocates.
A quote Hitler did make in 1942 read: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.”
This is one of those "well, duh!" moments. Of course a conqueror tries to disarm the vanquished citizens.
President Obama on Sensible Gun Control
- Dakota Inspired: A Progressive in North Dakota: Facebook Gun "Facts" Fact Checked
The gun debate will always be heated, with both sides throwing out statistics to support their view. What you think you know may be wrong.
- The Straight Dope: Did Hitler ban gun ownership?
- Research from U of C
You are likely to hear that one of the first things that Hitler did when he seized power was to impose strict gun registration requirements that enabled him to identify gun owners and then to confiscate all guns
- The Hitler gun control lie - Salon.com
Gun rights activists who cite the dictator as a reason against gun control have their history dangerously wrong
Do you believe that if the Jewish citizens of Germany had had weapons they would have been able to prevent the Holocaust?
- GUNS, CHICKENHAWKS AND THE NRA
Chickenhowks, the NRA spokespeople and many others try to act macho and tough, but are they really? Where were these tough guys when the Vietnam War was happening? Talk is cheap.