SIG Sauer Raided (Again) … I am not sure why our German brothers even bother making guns

SIG SP2022 Pistol

SIG SP2022 Pistol

On July 3 2014 SIG Sauer’s offices in Eckernförde, Germany were raided by German law enforcement after it was discovered that an unspecified number of SIG SP2022 ended up in Colombia. Germany bans weapon exports to Colombia because they consider it a “conflict zone”.

This is the second time SIG Sauer has been raided. German SWAT and 12 detectives descended on the company in February this year after SIG firearms found their way to the Kazakhstan Republican Guard.

The Colombia pistols, like the Kazakhstan pistols, had actually been exported to the USA.SIG Sauer GmbH (Germany) exported them to SIG Sauer  Inc. (USA) which legally sold them to a USA gun dealer or distributor. At some point in time an unknown entity took ownership of the pistols and exported them.

SIG Sauer GmbH has issued a press release (in German) that said their lawyers have investigated the situation and found that neither SIG Sauer Germany nor SIG Sauer USA broke any laws. The transactions they entered into were legal and that there were no indications, nor were they able to anticipate, that the guns would eventually be exported. I am inclined to believe them.

The German authorities seem hell-bent on making like as difficult as possible for local manufacturers. German gun makers must be asking themselves why they bother engaging in legal business, providing employment and paying taxes only to be raided on a bi-annual basis.

Thanks to Axel for the tip.



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.


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  • allannon

    Have HK and the rest had such intrusions? Or just Sig-Sauer?

    • J.T.

      It has happened to HK as well.

    • TexTopCat

      I suspect that all of this is related to the UN small arms treaty to put gun makers out of business. The issue is to get guns out of the hands of the citizens,

      • allannon

        It’s all fun and games until someone who can’t get a gun cooks up a biological weapon in their basement instead.

        Which, mostly scarily, is the _cheaper_ of the two options.

      • supergun

        Absolutely.

  • Trent Russell

    Something doesn’t compute. the German government could easily do the homework to determine that GmbH wasn’t implicated in the deal without kicking in their front door. Is this just pressure from the german government to pack up and leave? Why would they want that?

    • they do this on a regular basis, not just SIG. They are probably trying to prevent paperwork from being destroyed. They are looking for evidence that someone in the company knew they were destined for re-export out of the USA.

  • blr

    Excuse my insignifant ignorance but aren’t pistols destined to be in conflict zones?
    It’s like accusing a bakey for selling its products to the hungry ones. No?

    • yes..that was my first through as well.

      • supergun

        Me 2.

      • Steve_7

        I don’t think you should pre-judge something, it’s quite possible they did break the law. If in fact it was a six-figure order of pistols it seems very unlikely they didn’t know where they were going, they’re SP2022s so made in Germany and clearly they didn’t get a German export licence for Colombia. That’s obviously illegal.

      • Steve_7
  • Nicholas Chen

    My friends in Singapore have told me local police will raid the homes of random people in the Nerf community. With warrants searching for contraband. Yes. I said “Nerf” community. Since SG bans guns, Airsoft, archery (stays at club no private ownership) all they can play with are Nerf guns.

    Police keep tabs of online forums and active members. Post office narc on people who buy contraband like Airsoft parts. The raids happen once every 1-2 months. It is seen as a rite of passage in the SG Nerf Community.

    • stimr2

      That’s sad. I read a article couple years ago a airsoft club in South Korea was raided. So many Asian countries don’t have the basic freedoms we have in the US.

      • South TN

        Various levels of LEO have been raiding homes in the US for years now and claiming, “Oops, wrong address.”

        What rights?

        • Del

          Exactly.

      • TexTopCat

        It will be here should the mommies get their way. “Just common sense” laws will fix everything,

    • Nicholas Chan

      I am a Singaporean, and as the co-founder of a paintball company with many friends who play Nerf in public, at home, in their offices (lucky chaps) and with Nerf “guns” and its “ammo” readily sold in department stores FOR YEARS, that you are making a false statement. Heck, there are even publicly announced Nerf games on a somewhat regular basis and you are claiming that people get “raided”?

      Post Office “narcs” on people shipping in restricted items? That’s news? Airsoft IS restricted/regulated in Singapore, as is paintball. So are you saying that the Post Office people are “narcs” because they obey the law and prevent contraband from being shipped in?

  • Eric

    Maybe it’s time to move to a more firearm friendly location, like Switzerland.

    • Kivaari

      Swiss laws on export are tougher than Germany. It is why SIG is in Germany.

      • Steve_7

        No they’re not. Germany’s are way tougher. There is this old myth that SIG bought Sauer because they wanted to avoid Swiss export laws but in reality it was mainly to do with increasing capacity. Dealing with SECO in Switzerland is far easier than dealing with the Germans, I’ve got personal experience of it.

    • Vhyrus

      They’re moving all production to the US next year.

    • EmmyP
  • Mark

    If I were SIG? I’d move all my manufacturing to the US,and maybe even the Phillipines.

  • The US Army served as the conduit for a lot of SP2022 to Colombia via FMS orders.

    • Very interesting, thanks Daniel. We can always rely on you to dig up interesting facts.

    • Steve_7

      Are FMS subject to review by the State Dept? I thought they were.

      • Yes, they are.

        http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rsat/c14021.htm

        “Although the Department of Defense, through the Defense Security
        Cooperation Agency (DSCA), is responsible for implementing individual
        FMS cases, the Department of State must first review and approve them.
        DSCA forwards all FMS cases to PM/RSAT, which is responsible for
        ensuring that they are properly reviewed within the Department for
        consistency with U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives.”

  • R. Thinker

    I thought I read somewhere that they ARE moving all production to US.

    • Vhyrus

      You did, by 2015.

      • Brian Flate

        Is that for production for US consumption or ALL production for WORLDWIDE consumtion

    • n0truscotsman

      Not only SIG, but Krauss Maffei (maker of the Leo and Puma and other military AFVs) is merging with Nexter of the French line.

      This is indicative of many things going on between manufacturers of certain items and the German government.

  • Ralphie

    So if any sig’s are found in a “conflict zone” anywhere around the world it’s grounds for a raid? Yea it’s time to look for a new gun manufacturing friendly environment.

  • tt_ttf

    Looks like the german police were looking for a reason to storm around – it would not have taken long to work out what the hell happened before you called out the SWAT team

    And as someone pointed out – it was either someone exporting without ITAR clearance in the US which is not SIG’s problem as long as they did it right – met some of the marketing team at SIG doing shows together and they don’t seem like dummies about this and take it very seriously

    Or it was an export with State Dept ok….

    Either way once the guns leave SIG Germany or SIG USA control, it’s not grounds for a SWAT raid!!!

    By the way – wish the French were this concerned – there was a number of items stolen at Eurosatory from the AUSA pavilion and I gather a pistol from SIG’s stand but no one on the Eurosatory side seemed to give much of a damn and the search on the way out was a joke.

  • Toni

    It is only the next part of the german politics fight against the weapon industry. Forced by the liberals which have intruded all the media, parties and so on. Europe is going on to a new 1789 (French Revolution).

  • 1Zoo1

    The Germans used to have such a proud armaments industry. Looks like they’re going to lose it all. Going to cost them plenty to import all their arms again – just like after Versailles!

  • SP mclaughlin

    Hasn’t Colombia stabilized a lot in the last 20 years? German Government might want to actually ask questions before shooting first.

  • 1 With A Bullet

    What? Nobody suspects Eric Holder?

  • Rally

    Who the fuck raids a respectable firearm business with a swat team ? What kind of resistance did they expect from a Multi billion buck business?

  • Samson

    This is kind of ridiculous. When “Arab Spring” Started jumping off, I was seeing Libyan and Egyptian etc. fighters with cooler gear than I have… short-barreled AR-15s with sweet stocks and optics etc. 30 -round mags, sweet scoped FN FALs and even some rag-tag jihadis with HK-416s, etc. I doubt they placed an order from the factory. There is a black market for these things, and money plays. Do I know how to get them, no , no idea, but I couldn’t afford one even if I knew someone to talk to to get one. But I live in good old suburbia, not the Gaza strip so I am not sweating it. Now if and when the jihadis show up on our streets, then we can get it on like Falling Skies meets Full Metal Jacket, etc.

    • Porty1119

      Samson, the Euros directly funneled weapons to the jihadis. There is a lot of gear popping up in Syria that raises seriously, seriously uncomfortable questions.

  • gast13

    According to german media several thousand pistols ended up in the hands of colombian federal police and apparently there is evidence that SIG Sauer employees were aware that these pistols were meant to be reexported to Colombia.

    These kind of “raids” usually turn out to be a lot more casual than described by the media. They are meant to prevent internal documents from being shredded, no handguns drawn.

    Source: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/waffenexporte-razzia-bei-pistolenhersteller-13025930.html (inclduing a picture of LEOs involved)

  • Rob

    Faster and furiouser

  • U-Bahn

    Welcome to german law, where you have to fill in 3 forms for every gun you want to export.

  • Cahal
  • Mike

    Firearms not politics… right?

    • Steve_7

      This isn’t politics, it’s a criminal investigation.

  • Steve_7

    There is a lobby group in Germany that is trying to put arms exporters out of business, so at the first whiff of anything wrong they call up the police and make a stink. Germany has really strict export laws, so in theory the export from the US to Colombia should be approved by German authorities but in reality there’s no way of SIG-Sauer doing that once they’ve been sold in the US. You’d think the State Dept. would have an agreement to tell them though before approving the export. Have a read of: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/oberndorf-german-town-armed-world-heckler-kock

  • Adam

    And there i was thinking it was going to be one of the underground knock offs from Asia…