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


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").

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

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).

  • I do not know the background. Did they permit private ownership or not? And under what conditions? – Anixx Dec 22 '12 at 23:31

I will need to dig up sources, until then this is a placeholder:

  • After WWI Germany had very strict gun laws, severly limiting civilian gun ownership
  • The varios right wing militias that fought the revolutions and uprisings immedeatly after WWI where sometimes very well armed
  • Some of these arms caches remained under control of parties and their militias, including the NSDAP
  • The gun laws where gradually softened during the Weimar republic
  • This softening continued under the Nazis, though highly selective - party members where allowed guns more easily than others, for example
  • AFAIK few or no quotes from Hitler on civilian gun ownership are documented, it seems though that the Nazis saw no problems with civilian gun ownership as long as these civilians where seen as loyal
  • 4
    This doesn't add much to a six-year-old Q&A. Why not wait until you have the sources to create an answer that significantly improves on the existing one? – DevSolar Nov 13 '18 at 10:51
  • As a reminder for myself to actually get around to do this. – mart Nov 13 '18 at 13:18
  • 3
    As a reminder, it is "not useful" for anybody but yourself... – DevSolar Nov 13 '18 at 13:24
  • 1
    as long as you folks keep commenting I'll see notifications and will eventually get around to it :) – mart Nov 13 '18 at 14:04

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