A Cautionary Tale: How Gun Control Played Out in Nazi Germany
by Aden Tate
The rights of Americans are getting trampled on at every turn. Unfortunately, the right to self-defense as enshrined within the Second Amendment is no exception to being spit upon by communists/globalists (I admit to a bit of redundancy there).
Since President Joe Biden has been in office, we’ve seen efforts such as pre-crime surveillance plans, the administration asking SCOTUS to uphold warrantless gun confiscation, and executive orders that could turn a whole lot of gun owners into felons. In fact, the Biden administration has been very open about Biden’s willingness to “get the job done” with gun control executive orders. Or royal decrees. To-may-to, to-mah-to.
Do you think gun confiscation couldn’t happen here?
A lot of folks are firmly convinced gun control could never happen in the United States of America. Of course, neither did the Germans before WW2. Nor did the Venezuelans. Other South Americans didn’t think so either.
As Selco writes in his article, Gun Confiscation: Here’s How it Might Actually Go Down”:
The 2nd Amendment is very cool, and I like it very much, but here is the ugly truth:
It works only if the government wants it to work. One day, when the government does not want it to work anymore it will be out of order, illegal, or even terrorist to practice it. Sorry, it is not your inalienable right. The government lets you THINK it is your inalienable right. Actually, you do need to protect that right. You need to defend it.
History is a fantastic instructor and can perhaps help others better understand why this is such an important right to defend. Today, let us turn to the series of gun control laws passed in pre-World War 2 Germany. Does any of this look familiar?
April 12, 1928 – The Law on Firearms and Ammunition
Everyone now needed a license for anything related to guns due to this law. Whether manufacturing, assembling, repairing, or selling a gun, the person would be required to have a government-issued license. Not only did this law apply to guns, but it applied to ammunition as well. Anyone wanting to purchase ammunition or even to reload their own now needed a license to do so.
Arguably, this single law laid the foundation for all of what followed next in Germany throughout the ’30s and ’40s.
Not even a year passed before the Germans decided they needed further restrictions with this law. July 1928, the German government decreed that citizens were now required to have a permit to acquire more than one gun. Furthermore, citizens were only permitted 50 cartridges for that weapon.
March 18, 1931 – Unauthorized use of weapons
This law banned the carrying of any weapon off of one’s premises. By extension, this law made it illegal for groups of armed men to assemble in public places. The law specifically targeted clubs and knives. However, the law also included guns considering the exemption of those with (difficult to obtain) firearm carry permits.
February 15, 1933 – Registration of all firearm licenses
Nazi officials now demanded that all lists of registered firearm holders be delivered to the municipal government. The Nazi’s gave three weeks to comply. Anybody who the government deemed a potential threat (aka politically opposed) to the Nazi party had their firearm license revoked. According to reports, Nazis used pre-war lists of gun owners to confiscate firearms, and many gun owners simply disappeared. Following confiscation, the Nazis were free to wreak their evil on the disarmed populace, such as on these helpless Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. [source]
February 28, 1933 – Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and the State
As Hitler gained power on January 30, 1933, gun control efforts increased exponentially. [source] This decree suspended the German constitution entirely. Personal liberty, freedom of speech, and the right to assemble were all banned by the government under the guise of national security from domestic terrorists (e.g., German communists).
The government could now open one’s mail or monitor one’s phone calls whenever they pleased, could conduct unlimited raids on individuals’ homes, and decided anyone engaged in “rioting” could potentially face the death penalty.
The government routinely conducted raids to search for forbidden weapons. However, the government could effectively silence any public discussion on the morality of such actions. Should one attempt to congregate with others to petition the government for redress of grievances – and should this gathering be deemed a riot – all present could face legalized execution. [source]
March 31, 1933 – Decree for the surrender of weapons
Germany’s government ordered citizens to surrender arms, emphasizing those considered “military weapons.” Claims state that citizens were offered the freedom to join the SA, SS, Stahlhelm, or the National Revolution units if they wanted to carry a weapon. Should you choose not to join these units, you forfeited your right to own weapons.
All those who didn’t join the Nazi organizations and kept their guns were “viewed as an enemy of the national government” and punished accordingly.
June 12, 1933 – Ban on imported handguns
As of this date, people could no longer import handguns into Germany. “For reasons of public safety, it was no longer possible to tolerate this situation,” stated the decree. It was now illegal to import a pistol “until further notice.”
From what I can tell, this ban on handgun importation was permanent.
1935 – Rubber Truncheon is published
After the global release of the hit book Rubber Truncheon, the world finally becomes aware that Germany has built a system of concentration camps for political prisoners. The author, Wolfgang Langhoff – one of these prisoners – details how Germans who violated weapons laws were routinely rounded up and shipped off to one of these camps.
Langhoff also details how a veneer of legality was brushed over all of the Nazi’s actions.
December 16, 1935 – Gestapo Directive “Issuance of Weapons Permits to Jews”
“Firearms in the hands of the Jews represent a considerable danger for the German people.” As a result, Jews were scrutinized under a microscope to determine whether or not they really “needed” a weapons permit.
In reality, this played out with Jews being denied weapons permits virtually 100% of the time.
February 9, 1938 – Weapons Law of 1938
The German government outright banned anyone from having a weapons permit if they were a Jew, a gypsy, or a person under police surveillance (virtually all of the country). Weapons permit applicants had to prove they needed a gun before they could get one now.
November 8, 1938 – Kristallnacht begins
Widely considered the “official” beginning of the Holocaust, Kristallnacht – or The Night of Broken Glass – is a massive state-sponsored pogrom against the Jews. Estimates are that 30,000 Jews were arrested and shipped off to concentration camps throughout Kristallnacht. Hitler’s henchmen destroyed Jewish homes and businesses and killed many Jewish people.
Himmler soon declared Jews are outright forbidden to own weapons of any kind. SS head Heinrich Himmler decreed: “Jews are forbidden to possess any weapon. Violators will be condemned to a concentration camp and imprisoned for a period of up to 20 years.” [source]
We all know the rest of the story
Most of us have what happens next etched well within our brains. The following years bring us the stories of Oskar Schindler, Anne Frank, Sophie Scholl, Viktor Frankl, and a host of other heart-rending stories. Stories of men and women raped, brutalized, coerced into medical experimentation, forced to watch the execution of their children and murder themselves.
Had April 12, 1928, never happened, could a different story have played out?
For a more in-depth look at how gun control played out within the Third Reich, I highly recommend reading Stephen Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich. My research for this article came from this book. I disagree with Halbrook’s conclusion that gun control doesn’t necessarily lead to genocide (despite virtually every example in history proving such). However, this is a highly detailed account of what happened legislatively in Germany leading up to The Holocaust.
What are your thoughts?
Looking back in history, what are your thoughts about the pattern that we’re watching play out right in front of our eyes? While you personally might not give up your gun for any reason, do you think you’ll be in the minority? Do you think most people will give in? What do you foresee as the next steps of the current administration? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to PewPewTactical.com, SurvivalBlog.com, SHTFBlog.com, ApartmentPrepper.com, HomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens on his micro-farm. He also has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.