A week or so ago word came that Walther was being investigated for illegally exporting one of their firearms to a “conflict zone,” something prohibited by German law. The evidence provided by a German gun control activist organization was that one of their guns stamped “Made in Germany” had been found on sale in Colombia…and that was all the proof they needed that Walther is an evil gun-running organization with malicious intent. But according to Walther, there’s nothing to the trumped up charge . . .
At IWA, the effect of the investigation was pretty clear. Even though the guys at the booth knew I was only interested in the product, they wouldn’t let me photograph the models on the table — they were concerned about the media reports in Germany and didn’t want any press getting their hands on such pictures. That was OK, though, as I had already snapped some shots of the models they had on the wall outside the booth. Still, it shows how seriously Walther’s taking the accusation.
I spoke with one of the Walther reps, and according to him the gun in question was not imported into the “conflict zone,” at least not by Walther. Instead the specific firearm in question had been legally sold to Finland. Then the company there had shipped it without Walther’s knowledge or consent to Colombia. Naturally the gun control advocates in Germany don’t care. They just want Walther tarred for having committed a “war crime.”
The reality of the situation is that there’s no way to control the flow of small arms. Gun control advocates can continue to demand “stricter controls” all they want, but no matter how the laws are implemented there will always be bad guys willing to break the law to supply criminals. In Mexico, it’s the military illegally selling guns to the cartels. In Afghanistan, it’s caches of surplus Soviet gear provided (at one point) by the CIA that feeds Al Quaeda. And even in England, “banned” guns keep turning up and are used more often in crimes. The world is a giant sieve, and gun control activists are doing everything they can to try and plug one hole at a time. But it’s an impossible task, and as soon as one hole is plugged two more open up.