Germany suspends H&K exports to Mexico

CB Online reports that the German government is investigating H&K for some undefined weapon export violations and is preventing the company from exporting weapons to Mexico until the investigation has been concluded.

BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s government has banned weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH from any new arms deliveries to Mexico amid concerns they are ending in parts of the country where Berlin has forbidden weapons exports over human rights issues, according to a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The letter from the Economy Ministry to the arms manufacturer, dated Jan. 4, says the company’s applications for exports of “weapons and other defense goods” to Mexico are suspended pending the outcome of judicial investigations in Germany.

Heckler & Koch is under investigation by prosecutors for allegedly providing its G36 assault rifle to Mexican police in the states of Chiapas, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Jalisco, where Germany prohibits such exports over alleged human rights violations.

Heckler & Koch maintains it did not deliver weapons to those four states, but only to the country’s Mexico City-based central weapons purchasing authority, which is overseen by the Defense Ministry.

“Heckler & Koch has at no point in time delivered to any Mexican states,” the company said in a statement late December.

It sounds to me that the German government suspects that H&K knew where their weapons were headed and were knowingly selling them to a straw buyer. I believe it is the Mexican Army who runs the Mexico City gun distribution center. It seems crazy that they are allowed to export to Mexico, to a central distributor, but that only certain state police can receive them, and others cannot.

[ Many thanks to Tip for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • jdun1911

    There is only one legal gun shop in all of Mexico and it is in Mexico city. It is own by the Mexican Army. The employee are all soldiers.

    Mexico produce their own version of the G36 in house. It’s called the FX-05 Xiuhcoatl. IIRC the first batch went to Mexico Special Force. I’m not sure it is in wide use in the military tho.

  • Burst

    While I’m certainly not crazy about the human rights situation throughout Central America, my major objection is towards the number of guns sent at taxpayer expense.

    If HK are being payed for these weapons (you’d better believe it!) and are paying their taxes (probably) the German government should grin and bear it, until the Mexicans decide that those purchasers aren’t part of their police force.

  • subase

    The Mexican police is very corrupted at the highest levels. Which means bribes by corrupt police departments get them special treatment, in the form of superior weaponry. These they can use themselves or sell to the cartels.

  • Aurelien

    Damn, germans providing human rights violators with hardware ? You don’t say !

    They never do that. Except with Algeria in the 50/60s, North Korea, Iran, Lybia…

  • Andy from West Haven

    “Mexico produce their own version of the G36 in house. It’s called the FX-05 Xiuhcoatl.”

    I was shocked when I first saw that weapon last year. I’d like to know more about it. And also with the relationship that Mexico has with HK because I have not heard about HK suing the manufacturer over this apparent (at least on the outside) copy.

    Unless internally it’s a very different gun. Perhaps direct gas impingement versus the G36’s piston. But would that be enough?

    I dunno. The whole thing smells very fishy.

  • But… but… but… I thought all the bad guns in Mexico were bought at American gun stores and smuggled across the borders… bfftt

  • Other Steve

    H&K is the most backwards arms company I have ever seen. They really can not seem to get out of their own way.

  • 7.62×25

    I think the German government should tread carefully. It could one day find it’s self in a situation where if it restricts the sale of small arms to other Governments too severely it could find it self eventually without a small arms industry. Just like it happened in France and Britain and so many other EU countries whose liberal anti-gun policy’s destroyed an entire industry. The Mexicans should buy from FN Herstal as the Belgians wouldn’t mind taking additional market share from it’s main European rival Hk. FN offers much better products than the Germans do anyway and at a better price.

  • Ztryfe

    I remember reading about HK being shown a cutaway FX-05 and agreeing that its not a copy, there was some concern on the receiver thou… but I believe it all was figured out and the FX-05 continued in production.

    Here is a link from, with a nice pick of the cutaway & Lots of info:

    Unfortunately is all in good old Spanish, google translate might help =]


  • jdun1911

    Andy from West Haven,

    The G36 is a Stoner Piston variant. The design was made by Mr. Stoner some 40 years ago. Basically the G36 is an AR18 clone.

    Whatever patents it had it probably expired when Mexico made the gun. However HK did sue the manufacture on the FX-05. I do not know what came of it.

  • kmle

    This is where Chinese HK copies come in.

  • jdun1911

    Ok I was wrong. It’s not a Stoner Piston design. From what I read the FX-05 is a Kalashnikov variant. I have no experience with the carbine so don’t quote me on it.

  • Michael Altdorf

    FX-05 was investigated for such possible patent infringement, but it never went to a lawsuit. HK investigated and decided they were too different to warrant one. The FX-05 isn’t a G36 clone- if it was, HK definitely would have sued.

  • Yves Bonnet

    Mexican goverment and military are not friendly to Heckler und Koch, they just only have bad relations with FN Herstal.
    Mexico produce a licensed copy of G3, MP5 and MSG90; but G3 rifle wasn´t the first option for mexican military, Mexico bought a lot of FN FALs in late 60´s but they never dealed enough with FN to buy the license. Years later a group of cute, lovable and friendly people who come from Germany offered the license to buy a group of quality weapons.
    Many years later with the problem of “Narcowar” the polices forces from all country were allowed to bought full auto weapons (yep, few time ago was illegal for police have full auto weapons, ten years ago when i was a pretty child i remember that all Mexico city police used .38 Special revolvers and .30 m1 carbines) i´m not pretty sure about the date but was between 2007-2008.
    After this change, the policies from all country used a lot quantity of money to modernize their old stock, but they also need to buy their new weapons by the only legal form in Mexico, that´s way is buying the weapons directly to the Defense Ministry or requesting to the Ministry that buy the weapons to later be re sold to the polices forces and the real problem is that a lot of G36 are in the hands of police forces which states have a long record of human rights issues.
    H&K sold weapons to mexican defense ministry but the ministry re-sold the weapons to states with bad human rights records.

    Sorry for my bad english.

  • jdun1911

    “H&K sold weapons to mexican defense ministry but the ministry re-sold the weapons to states with bad human rights records.”

    If that is the case than I don’t think HK should be blame for the actions of the Mexican Defense Ministry.