3. Registration as "Citizen Control"

3.3 Germany

In 1928, the centre-left democratic government of Germany's short-lived Weimar republic enacted comprehensive gun controls as a respone to escalating political violence, often between Communists and Nazis. This legislation introduced a comprehensive system of firearms registration combined with restricted owner licensing (Simkin, et al., 1994, pp.150-151) 10 .

Over the next five years successive democratic governments enacted a series of amendments to the 1928 legislation which made the legal acquisition and ownership of firearms increasingly difficult. By the time Hitler's Nazis has established complete control over the government in 1933, the mechanisms were already in place to begin the confiscation of all weapons from individuals and organizations not sympathetic to them (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.154).

It wasn't until 1938 that the Nazis introduced their own gun control legislation. With Germany preparing for war, it was imperative that they ensure domestic stability.

On 18 MArch, 1938, only four days after the Nazis occupied Austria, the German government introduced their "Weapons Law" (Simkin, et al., 1994, pp.155-156).

Under this legislation, Jews were prohibited from any business involving firearms.

The "Weapons Law" introduced controls on handguns, but exempted members of the Nazi party and any affiliated organizations from all firearm controls. For all intents and purposes, only Nazis and those who were either sympathetic to them, or posed no political threat, were permitted to possess fireamrms 11 .

On 11 November, 1938, the Nazis made it illegal for Jews to possess firearms or weapons of any kind. Weapons they did possess were confiscated without compensation (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.156, p.183).