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Was possession of weapons prohibited, encouraged, allowed to members of some organizations, or what?

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2 Answers 2

They had very strict gun laws from the Weimar government, that were made even tougher in 1938. There were the expected limitations on Jewish ownership and a requirement for "trustworthyness" (ie not opponents of the regime).

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I would point out Britain, a bulwark against nazi oppression (to use massive amounts of hyperbole), were also increasing restrictions on guns at the same time and so were the US. Just saying as this is clearly dangerously political territory. –  Nathan Cooper Dec 22 '12 at 22:35
I do not know the background. Did they permit private ownership or not? And under what conditions? –  Anixx Dec 22 '12 at 23:31
@NathanCooper - (1) "increasing" doesn't mean they had the same level of restrictions; (2) Both Britain and US had strong pro-Nazi elements at the time; and (3) At least in USA, the gun control especially had roots in racism (denying Blacks the right of self defense) –  DVK Dec 23 '12 at 13:18
(1)I'm hinting increasing gun laws aren't necessarily the road to dictatorship (2) Citation needed. Also nothing to do with gun regulations. (3) Citation needed. Also, I don't like with the obvious political bent of this thread. Are we learning about history or are we point scoring over gun control? (I agree today's debates should be informed by history, but we must also keep to conversations appropriate for stack exchange) –  Nathan Cooper Dec 23 '12 at 15:37
@NathanCooper - (2) Google Lindbergh (sp?). (1) You are contradicting yourself. You're either scoring a gin control political point that you yourself stating in #1, or you don't like political bent. Pick one :) –  DVK Dec 23 '12 at 22:28

As @Nathan Cooper indicated, under Hitler, most of the civil weapons legislation was not actually Hitler's - he inherited strong gun control laws from Weimar Republic (aside from total prohibition for the Jews since 1938).

However, the laws were written in a way that allowed pretty much unlimited restrictions and limitations by people in power, within the framework of that legislation:

  • Guns were required to have serial numbers
  • anybody owning one without a serial number had to have one stamped on it.
  • Permitting was mostly left up to the police.
  • Permits were only given to people of "undoubted reliability" who demonstrated a "need" for a gun (Hello from New York City).

Note the laxensess of definitions. The last bullet point was such that pretty much anyone you didn't want to have a gun wouldn't have one.

A very detailed discussion is in the second half of the Straight Dope article here (the first half was mostly devoted to debunking an infamous Hitler's gun control "quote").

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What that was in practice? Were civil weapons widespread or rare? –  Anixx Dec 24 '12 at 4:00

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