H&K was in hot water last year because after delivering firearms to Mexico, a location designated a “crisis zone.” One might think that providing aid to law enforcement and the military to maintain law and order would be a mitzvah — discounting the inevitable “seepage” to cartel members — but the German government took a different view. In the fallout from that kerfuffle, H&K has decided to stop shipping firearms to any non-NATO countries. From Reuters:
The company, one of the world’s best-known gunmakers, will in future only sell to countries that are democratic and free from corruption and that are members of NATO or NATO members’ partners, DPA said, citing company sources.
It said this change in strategy would rule out deals with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil, India or even NATO member Turkey . . .
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has sought to curb sales of tanks and small arms in particular since taking office late in 2013, arguing that guns such as assault rifles were the weapons of choice in civil wars all over the world.
Lengthy restrictions imposed by the German government on arms sales abroad have led to serious profit falls for Heckler & Koch, one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers. The company saw a 90 percent decline in profits last year, exacerbated by Berlin’s blocking of a major sale of G36 assault rifle parts to Saudi Arabia over human rights concerns in the Gulf kingdom. The deal had been previously approved in 2008, but Germany later toughened its already strict regulations on arms sales to foreign countries.
Just as here in the United States, Germany’s political class are using their power to impose their anti-gun beliefs and opinions on otherwise law-abiding companies (and citizens). Rather than fighting the prevailing opinions of the ministry, H&K has decided not to fight city hall and will simply restrict their sales to “good” countries. Assuming they can stay in business to do so.