Six Former HK Employees On Trial for Illegal G36 Rifle Exports to Mexico

HK G36 rifle

Six former Heckler & Koch employees were charged in 2015 with illegally making fifteen shipments of the company’s G36 rifles to Mexico. Their trial began in Stuttgart this week in Germany.

The six defendants, aged between 54 and 77, face maximum jail terms of up to five years if found guilty, and the court could also fine the company based in Oberndorf am Neckar, a major centre of the German weapons industry.

The shipments of the rifles were reportedly made in cooperation with the Mexican defense ministry;

Prosecutors charge that the 15 shipments of the military-style weapons between 2006 and 2009 breached Germany’s so-called war weapons control law because they ended up in especially violence-torn Mexican states in breach of the export licence.

The Mexican defence ministry, which is in charge of gun imports, had approved the import of 9,652 H&K rifles, of which 4,796 went to states with particular human rights concerns, including Guerrero, German newspapers have reported.

And HK allegedly had help arranging the shipments on the German end as well.

But (activist Jürgen) Grässlin had other reasons to be dissatisfied with the trial. In 2016, his attorney Holger Rothbauer pressed charges against officials in the German Economy Ministry and the government’s export control office BAFA for helping H&K make the deals. But state prosecutors decided not to pursue the investigation, and the statute of limitations on the alleged crimes has since elapsed.

The defendants argue that the rifles were properly shipped and went to a Mexican police armory. But many Mexican police agencies are famously corrupt, acting as wholly-owned subsidiaries of the country’s drug cartels. They both “lose” weapons that end up in cartel hands or openly work for them.

“Those who enabled these weapons exports aided and abetted murder in Mexico,” (Grässlin) told regional public broadcaster SWR at the protest where demonstrators displayed pictures of disappeared students and G36 models splattered with fake blood.

The campaigner said it was well known that in the most conflict-torn Mexican states both police and narco-gangsters used the G36, and that “often the two groups cooperate”.



  1. avatar Setnakhte says:

    Title? G26 or G36?

    And I thought their own Xiuhcoatl was a cloned G36 anyways?

  2. avatar Jeremiah Anthony Kindel says:

    Soooo the weapons came from the U.S? Interesting. (Sarc)

  3. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Silly HK employees! You aren’t supposed to sell to the corrupt police forces, you either sell or give helicopters to the corrupt army, or let the drug cartels directly purchase the guns through straw purchasers! What is this, amateur hour here? Don’t get your company directly involved, let your government officials run the operation, as they can’t be touched! Here, let the ATF and Department of Justice show you how this is done!

  4. avatar SheepDog says:

    The “Eric Holder” defense; That’s a thing, Right?

  5. Schnell Und Wütend !

    “…..between 2006 and 2009…..” Somehow this will be made President Trump’s fault because global warming caused Stormy Daniels to go to Parkland for a meeting with the folks who set off volcanoes that trigg………. Never mind. 😉

  6. avatar Chris says:

    Don’t blame me, I never bought into the hype of giving them $1,000 for a polymer pistol. That alone should have told you something was wrong with the company but nooooo, I was cursed at and mocked and dragged through the mud. “You dont deserve to own an hk”, “Hk has a philosophy you’ll never understand!” “The price is good, the quality is amazing.” Bullshit! You fanboys will throw money at anything. All this time I KNEW something was wrong with hk. Run back to your bridges and hide, trolls. How about growing a pair of balls and using them instead.

    1. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      I mostly bought mine used, police trades, or online, retail gun shop prices were crazy… But not just on HK, everything. But the prices are pretty cheap now for most of their models, like $450-650.

      I think you are saying the fact that they sold guns that ended up in drug cartel hands and were used to kill people makes the company and all its guns stained by the blood of innocents and thus no good? I dunno, they sell to the US armed forces and France and various other nations as well, and I imagine the cartels have plenty of other brands in their stash, similarly acquired through dubious means. My personally owned weapons are neither responsible for Parkland nor crimes of Mexico, so I can own and shoot them with pride. And I do.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        That is exactly what I am saying, if you gave HK money and indirectly supported their ties to narco-terrorism, there’s just as much blood on your hands as there is theirs. Mostly bought used, bought out of a newspaper or gifted one from a friend. It does not matter, YOU contributed to this mess just as much as every owner of an HK model because you paid the price tag. Prices haven’t changed, they’re still $1000 for a USP45 and a USP9. This is probably a very good reason why HK costs as much as it does. They operate as a way to make MONEY, how they get it makes no difference.

        1. avatar TheUnspoken says:

          The fact that this guy is behind both bringing charges (how do activists file criminal charges, must be a Germany thing?) as well as the “research” makes me suspicious of the whole affair, from

          “The man who initiated the case by pressing the charges in 2010, veteran German anti-arms-trade activist Jürgen Grässlin, was sitting among the spectators in court…”Just six people are sitting in the dock — that’s a scandal,” Grässlin told DW while standing in front of pictures of the 43 who “disappeared” — as many thousands of others have during Mexico’s ongoing drug war. “The chain of responsibility, from the weapons production to the export to their delivery to conflict zones is a long chain of legality — and 30 or 40 people should be in the dock, including the government export control authorities… Because the system only wants one part to be put in the dock: Namely the representatives of the arms industry, and not the political representatives, and not the representatives of the export control authorities.”
          Grässlin even argued that, since all arms deals are ultimately decided by the National Security Council (BSR), a committee of senior ministers headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the highest levels of the German government should themselves be investigated.”

          Yep, so anti arms Grässlin wants pretty much everyone prosecuted. I think we are seeing a lot of this with recent EU laws an treaties, as well as the recent investor attacks on US gunmakers, that the manufacturers need to be held responsible for the end user’s use of their product, even if the end user broke the law or used it in an unintended manner. Basically guns are a flawed product, they don’t work correctly because they cause death…

          Anyway, if my HKs are bloody guns, guilty by association, my WWII era p-38 and mosin has all kinds of bad juju! And I have a couple of guitars made by people who once bombed pearl harbor. My cellphone is made by a South Korean conglomerate with criminally convicted owners. A veritable den of thieves, all around me!

        2. avatar anonymoose says:

          You know Glock, Colt, SIG, Remington, Mossberg, and FN sell craploads of guns to corrupt governments, too, right?

        3. avatar Ed says:

          You are seriously hollier-than-thou with your “If you’ve ever boughtnan HK you’re supporting narco-terrorisim..” crap. WAY over the top. Do you not think that Narco-gurillas dont have Glocks and Colts as well? Fuckin Coo-Coo for co-co puffs.

  7. avatar Asif Yusuf says:

    They followed the rules and sold them to a legitimate law enforcement agency. After getting all the required permits and approvals. The Mexican LE agency should be the one on trial

    1. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      Germany doesn’t want their guns used in conflicts or wars. I thought guns were for solving conflicts and fighting wars, I think Germany would prefer they not be used except for photo ops.

      In the progressives’ fantasies, Bushmaster/Remington execs would have been convicted and jailed after Newtown, and Ruger execs after Parkland. Along with a public execution of NRA and GOA leaders.

    2. avatar binder says:

      They did not follow the rules, but they “convinced” civil servants to show them how to fake the export paperwork to get the permits. Sounds like the reason the civil servants were not prosecuted was because they did not get the charges filed before the statue of limitations ran out.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        This. If they were headed for an american court, the prosecutor would throw RICO at them and they’d be imprisoned for 20 years on a conspiracy charge. And the prosecution would win.

    3. avatar DesertDave says:

      Actually, no. They sold them to Mexican government officials, who are generally corrupt beyond any Norte Americano’s reality. It never ceases to amaze me when some us official is surprised that General Cortez or Gonzales or whom ever was a criminal. In Mexico Government Official = Criminal.

      1. avatar kenneth says:

        As here in the US. And most other countries as well. The whole purpose of government is to hide criminals in plain sight.

  8. avatar Anon in Ct says:

    “military-style weapons” – I thought these were the real deal, actual assault rifles?

    Not just “styled”.

  9. avatar Prudiikal says:

    sweet another reason for me to hate HK

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    Mein Gott there are RULES rudolf😄😎😏And who controls the local corrupt Meh-he-co po-leece?!?

  11. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Ah yes, the G36. The rifle that started the call of duty weapon fan boy craze.

    1. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

      Call of Duty and similar military themed first person shooters are why the 2nd Ammendment has a future. Millions of young adults have likely become firearm owners because they wanted to own guns similar to those in their favorite games.

      1. avatar New Continental Army says:

        I don’t disagree. But that craze got a little rediculous there for awhile. But I fully support new shooters wanting to experience the real world of shooting their favorite game guns.

  12. avatar gustavogiggle says:

    Well they had to do something with those POS g36 rifles. Might as well send them to mexici so they can melt on full auto forever destroying the accuracy of the rifle.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Doesn’t make any difference when used at a distance of 1-2 metres to execute a student protester.

      1. avatar gustavogiggle says:

        Are you talking about the attempted revolution 1-2 years ago? Student protestors were a small part of that. I had a friend that was there. It was groups of people with rifles burning cars on the side of the road and fighting the police as he fled for his life.

  13. avatar Ed says:

    HK is in the business of selling guns, FULL STOP. The Mexican police are the ones who supplied them to the cartels. The German goverment has this fluid “gender-identifying” style law where HK is supposed to know who is third party selling to who, and care? I remember when Kel-Tec first came out with the P-11…I had a guy pull up to my nightclub one night with a CAR TRUNK FULL…brand new, in the box NOT stolen. Also, Henery Hill in goodfellas says he had a guy working at the old Sprinfield armory that was walking dozens of guns “out the back door” so to speak. I’m sure it happens all the time and most bigger companies have this problem to some extent. Its obvious that these guys thought it was a over-reaching abstract law that wouldn’t really be enforced to this extent. What gun company in the U.S. wouldn’t fill an order to the Chicago police dept because of the hostile enviornment? Pretty much the same thing here.
    Arn’t these the rifles they had horrible accuracy problems with anyways? If so, wouldn’t you WANT these to be the guns in cartel hands?
    Also, I really like my HKs.

  14. avatar SurfGW says:

    Couldn’t happen to a better company.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    Germany doesn’t want its guns sent to Mexico. Turkey? Sehr gut.

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