If there are similarities between German disarmament laws that cleared the way for the seizure of absolute power by the Nazi party and contemporary American gun control proposals, they will become apparent to the reader, regardless of personal prejudices or predetermined outcome.
First, in 1919 (about nine years before the rise of the National Socialists), the German post-World War I government passed the “Verordnung des Rates der Volksbeauftragen über Waffenbesitz” (Regulations of the Council of the People’s Delegates on Weapons Possession). A reaction to the increasing presence of communists in Germany, this gun control law mandated, “All firearms, as well as all kinds of firearms ammunition, are to be surrendered immediately.” Anyone who was found in possession of a gun or ammunition could be punished by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 marks.
As agents of the Germany military enforced this law throughout Germany, in order to accelerate the seizure of all weapons and ammunition, the decision was made to install what might be called in modern political parlance a “Disarmament Czar.” Call for a gun control czar. Sound familiar?
On August 7, 1920, the German government passed the Gesetz über die Entwaffnung der Bevölkerung (Law on the Disarmament of the People). This law created the office of Reichskommissar for Disarmament of the Civil Population. This official was tasked with making a list of “military weapons” that were subject to immediate seizure. Sound familiar?
Perhaps the most frightening and foreboding provision of the law was that requiring all citizens with knowledge of anyone hoarding ammo or who owned outlawed weapons to turn in to the Reichskommissar the names of these people. Neighbors spying on neighbors. Sound familiar?
The next step in the complete disarmament of Germany prior to Hitler’s wresting of absolute power was the passage in 1928 of the Gesetz über Schußwaffen und Munition (Law on Firearms and Ammunition). This law required licensing of anyone who manufactured, assembled, or repaired firearms and ammunition. This included private citizens who reloaded their own rounds. Trade and sale of arms and ammo was also forbidden without a license, including at gun shows and competitive shooting events.Sound familiar?Continue reading →