German gun maker Walther is the subject of a breathless story at dw.de that details charges made by something called the Outcry Campaign (Stoppt den Waffenhandel!). The anti-arms trade org – their goal is to enshrine the prohibition of arms exports in the German Constitution – points out that Colombia’s state-owned arms seller, Indumil, features Walther handguns stamped “Made in Germany” despite the South American country being a “conflict” zone. And while Walther claims they don’t know how their guns got into Indumil’s inventory, Outcry’s Jürgen Grässlin isn’t buying it . . .

Though Grässlin has filed charges against Walther with a local prosecutor, the situation on the ground may be a little more complicated.

“The state company Indumil manufacturers P99 pistols at its factory in Cordova in Colombia,” he told DW. “There may have also been direct exports. We saw pistols stamped ‘Made in Germany,'”  …

There are several ways German weapons could have reached Colombia, according to Grässlin. While Walther may have exported the weapons directly, it could also have sold them first to a subsidiary in the United States, which would be legal as the US is a partner in the NATO alliance. Should the weapons have been then sold to Colombia it would run against the end-of-use declarations made by arms exporters detailing which countries the weapons are sent to and what purposes they will serve there. Grässlin said his organization also wanted to find out if weapons were being manufactured illegally in Colombia. “Indumil aggressively advertises that it manufactures Walther carbines as well as an arsenal of Walther pistols,” Grässlin said.

Should this prove to be the case, it could represent a breach of the War Weapons Control Act as well as export restrictions. The Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (BAFA) confirmed for DW that “there have been no export licenses issued to Colombia for these weapons or technology from 1993 to today.”

Nick will be jetting off this week to attend the IWA in the Fatherland for TTAG. We’ll see if he can wheedle a juicy quote on the subject out of Walther’s booth staff. Watch this space.

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32 Responses to Walther Accused of Illegal Arms Exports to Colombia

    • Guns? In MY conflict zone? It’s more likely than you think.

      Click here for free conflict zone check!

      • This is where chain-of-custody comes into play. Their end-use statement was probably correct but once in the customers hands CoC is complete as far as their statement is concerned, and the guns could go god knows where.

  1. So, an activist group whose reason for existence is to ban German firearms exports goes to Colombia and just happens to find apparent German exported firearms? Unless there is a lot more to this story, that is just a little too convenient.

  2. A while back Frontline was trying to do a whole “howd these AK’s get here” thing in Africa.

    After several ground reports and many failed attempts to trace routes they ended the pointless endeavor with a quote from a Norinco rep that went something like: “with several million manufactured in this one plant in the last year and decades of war across the continent good luck finding your scapegoat.”

    It was the global conflict version of some ban state attorney trying to sue Ruger for local gang shootings.

    As if finding somebody to blame just makes the war stop and everyone sing hand in hand.

  3. What, no serial numbers to trace the first sale with? These are German’s we are talking about – they are generally considered fond of paperwork. Rocket surgery, I guess.

    • Doubtless the serials aren’t featured in the Indumil catalog.

      Is it just be, or is that company essentially named military-industrial complex? What wold Ike say…?

  4. Gott in Himmel what the F is going on. Better get Scotland Yard, the FBI, CIA, hell maybe the brain dead bradys can help with this most pressing problem.

  5. Is this the same group that made the same claims against H&K a couple of years ago?

    Maybe it was Nicholas Cage, he was a pretty good arms smuggler? Oh wait.
    (Sarc)

  6. Note that these people don’t actually want the arms out of the conflict zones. They just want those local governments to have all the arms so they can stamp out any resistance or rebellion easily. They want the people easily taken out.

    • Agree. Grässlin hasn’t devoted much concern to the handing out of automatic rifles to para-military supporters in Venezuela, for example.

      It’s just another case of left-wingers picking the easiest and least consequential target. Walther pistols have essentially nothing to do with the “conflict zone” nature of Colombia, but lots to do with individual Colombians defending themselves. We know that Chavez made a major point of providing cross-border assault rifles to Columbian rebels. But lo, little pistols are the problem!? I expect Grässlin thought Chavez was an OK guy.

    • Not really. His group is rather extreme and wants no German made arms potentially getting into any kind trouble overseas, thus espousing the notion that Germany should arm only Germans while others can arm themselves.

      There are other groups who will happily see arms shipped to places where they can play or fight crime, but not to war zones.

      To understand German motivations, you must start with an understanding that they’ve their own version of “Never again.”

  7. Nothing better these people could be doing, eh? No hungry people in Germany? Or Colombia for that matter?

  8. These export bans to ‘conflict zones’ make about as much sense as ‘gun free zones’. Bad guy gets into power, grabs all the guns, abuses his power, people rise up, bad guy shoots them, more people rise up and guess what – it’s a ‘conflict zone’ now, we can’t send arms to the civilians being butchered in the streets.

      • Nobody. You’re not supposed to ship guns to either side, but one side already have all the guns they need. In the case of Columbia, sure Farq controls some territory in the mountains, but most people aren’t effected by that conflict as much as they are by the rampant drug cartel violence and kidnappings for ransom. So it works out on the international level the same it does on the national level – the people in Chicago are denied the right of self-protection, while the people who live in states where the murder rate is practically zero are free to arm themselves. Bear in mind that these ‘international laws’ were written and voted on by the world’s ruling class, who’s main concern is keeping themselves in power and keeping others from aiding their dissidents.

  9. Fair’s fair. There’s plenty of cocaine stamped “Made in Colombia” showing up in Germany despite the European country being a “drug free” zone.

  10. In a nation where human life is as cheap as a used AK, government types are concerned about Walther pistols making their way into the country?

    The Cartels aren’t taking over because they have some German pistols on their hips.

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