German Government to Cut Arms Exports

It will be no surprise to TFB readers that the German government is against its own arms industry, we have reported this many times, but now the German Minister for Economic Affairs is openly saying he plans on cutting down the number of arms exports. It is no wonder that German firearm makers are moving production overseas. National Public Radio reports …

Germany is the world’s third-largest arms exporter and Sigmar Gabriel, the country’s minister for economic affairs, is determined to move his country farther down that list.

Gabriel argues that exporting billions of dollars in arms annually, much of it to countries with questionable human rights records, such as Saudi Arabia, is at odds with the pacifist identity Germany established after World War II.

In late July, he told German public television broadcaster ZDF, “There are basic rules in Germany for exporting arms, and they’ve been ignored in the last years. Now we are going to observe them again.”

“What I hear repeatedly is that people are worried about their jobs,” Kirschner says. “If we don’t deliver these weapons, another country will.”

Another problem is that there aren’t many places for people to find work locally, especially people with technical skills.

“For 200 years, Oberndorf has been a magnet for highly qualified technicians,” says Ulrich Pfaff, a 76-year-old retired Lutheran church official. “My great-grandfather moved here because there were jobs for mechanics like him.”

Today, some 600 people work at the Heckler & Koch plant in Oberndorf. The company is a global firearms leader, making a submachine gun that the German media brag was carried by some members of the U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden.

Germany has been a firearm innovator since firearms were first designed. It is sad that the German government is out to destroy them.

Thanks to Jim 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.


  • Yellow Devil

    Not really surprised with their decision, given the recent spate of police raids against HK, but more surprised it took them this long to gut their own arms industry.

  • LCON

    For HK and other modern big names the answer would likely be more use of there subsidiaries in contracts.

  • Spencer

    Someone call Rick Perry. This is a job for super-business-poaching-governor!

    • Zachary marrs

      Hey, if he could, he would, and id be perfectly happy.

      Dont blame him when the other states/countries turn hostile to business

    • Waldorf

      Job poaching? That is a laugh. He has not poached anything. As some states have made it harder for some companies to do business because of their regulations and taxes they have chosen to move to a more business friendly state. If not to Texas it would have been to some other business friendly state. Perry just let the businesses know what Texas has to offer. He did not twist arms or force them to re-locate to Texas.

      • SnJohnson

        TFB – Firearms not politics.
        But sometimes politics. And lots of spelling errors. And we repost our own stuff every so often.

  • iksnilol

    They could always start a factory in Bosnia. Porsche did that for some parts. It makes sense, cheap and skilled labour in quanitity.

  • KestrelBike

    I know there’s a no-politics rule, but this is what social governments do. This is liberalism. I’m Preachin’ to the choir here, no doubt.

    • Clone

      The NPR piece doesn’t give a lot of information, but it seems that Germany wants to limit sales to questionable regimes and countries. Export to NATO and EU countries doesn’t appear to be any more hindered than usual.

      The US also restricts the export of weapons. Or have you conveniently forgotten about ITAR and all the stuff restricted under that?

      • KestrelBike

        haha why would I “conveniently” forget about the difficulties the US imposes, as if they get a free pass? Half (more like most) of the problem with Importing is not foreign countries export-rules, but US import rules of arbitrary “evilness” (how we can’t import chinese arms, but somehow canada can)

        • Wilfred

          We can’t even bring back the M-1s that were used in WWII and Korea anymore because of O-blame-a-lot.

    • n0truscotsman

      Then how do you explain Sweden???

      • Blake

        Snow, lack of sunlight, & expensive liquor.

        Have you ever tried to eat surströmming?

        • swede1986

          Surströmming is fucking awesome, and if the Russians invade we can use it as a bio-weapon. Win-win!

  • tazman66gt

    Aaawwww, no one has said it yet??? But in all seriousness a loss of that much talent would kill a town. Does this politician even understand if that’s the firearm they want the evil ones will always find a way?

  • Lance

    There loss is Colt and Remington’s gain.

    • john huscio

      Doubtful that anything Remington currently produces qualifies as a “gain”

    • MatKep

      Remington can’t hold a match to an HK fart.

    • HKGuns

      Highly doubtful, I own a substantial number of firearms, not one of them has Colt or Remington on the label.

      Colt is at least on my list, Remington doesn’t even register.

      R51 Anyone?

  • USMC03Vet

    Stank a** hippies.

  • Looks like there won’t be any need for a concrete sarcophagus after all… the German government is happily building a concrete gravestone instead.

  • john huscio

    Sig saw the writing on the wall….

  • B…but I thought it was HK who hated us, not the German govt?!?!

    • echelon

      No, they do hate us…they just love money more!

    • Schadavi

      HK would be able to survive.
      The most endangered jobs are in the manufacturing of heavy arms. There hardly is a domestic market for tanks or submarines in Germany…

      • Indeed. That said, I will take a Leapord 2 please. Cmon Germany, I am a responsible man.

  • 1leggeddog

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot…

    do they even know how many jobs this industry generates for their country?!?

  • JoshZ

    Come on over to the USA H&K. We would love to have you here.

    • Schadavi

      German gun owners love them too.
      Hopefully they start making good hunting and sporting rifles at sensible prices again if they loose their foreign market.

    • Colin

      No, your already in the US, come to the UK. We love exporting arms (to just about anyone really), and we love you for fixing the SA80… Oh, and it will need replacing in a few years time, nudge, nudge, wink, wink 😉

      • FourString

        Wasn’t the UK the site of the only 4.6x30mm manufacturer for a while? Lol

  • jamezb

    I have to wonder….
    Are they keeping the weapons because they have plans for peace in Europe…again?
    Just…a….little piece of Poland and a little piece of France,
    a little piece of Belgium and some Austria per chance?
    a little piece of…
    – you get the idea.
    (I HAVE TO wonder…after all,…. third time’s a charm!)

    • Schadavi

      We don’t have to invade anyone this time. Why occupy a street with tanks and troops while you can simply buy it and make a profit from renting it out?

  • C.

    If SIG can move all production to the U.S., why can’t H&K. I want my P30L!

    • FourString

      HK VP9L Ported pls.

  • Tom

    I think this is just a politician trying to make nice. Even if the German government becomes more hostile to exports HK can (as it has done in the past) simple ship the weapons to the UK and have HK UK do the export through the far more “accommodating” British Government.

  • bishop

    “Gabriel argues that exporting billions of dollars in arms annually, much of it to countries with questionable human rights records, such as Saudi Arabia, is at odds with the pacifist identity Germany established after World War II. ”

    This paragraph made me laugh.

  • ein volk ein reich ein fuhrer

    The Germans have been pussified by the Zionists and Israel- I bet Israel keeps getting their free U-boats though.

  • Ko I

    I’m sure the same states that offer some form of tax incentive to firearm companies in anti-self-defense states to move to their state will be willing to offer H&K, Sig, GSG, etc, a similar deal.

  • James W Thomas

    They need to build a factory here in tennessee like beretta has!.

  • Lange

    HK is making good money selling to german federal agencies and allied nations, and that won’t change. Neither will the government allow it’s one domestic small arms supplier to leave. I totally understand though if more civilian/export oriented producers like SIG, Walther etc. try to escape german export laws.

  • Leon Roy Sheppard

    Although it’s certainly not H&K who are at fault over this development, I do hope they try to support their homegrown workers’ jobs by offering them opportunities to relocate to their overseas manufacturing headquarters. It’s a sad day when people must surrender their livelihoods because they happen to be at odds with the current political climate.

  • James

    Shit, come to Texas H&K! I’ll help you test these weapons.