Heckler & Koch Are No Longer Dealing with Non-NATO Countries
Heckler & Koch (H&K) is a giant German firearm corporation who has famously abdicated selling firearms to any country who is not registered with NATO. This is the result of the German government trying for years to tighten the regulations on H&K’s export sales. H&K has been in business for about 67 years now.
According to Reuter’s reporting, it has now become too difficult for the German government to approve for any sales of firearms to non-NATO member countries. As a result, H&K no longer signs such contracts. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and Mexico will now be excluded as they are only a few of several who are not NATO members. Non-NATO members also include most of Asia and the Pacific regions.
At least 15 countries whom are not apart of NATO have made factories dedicated to creating their own version of the G36 rifle. They are often traded with North Africa and the Middle East. This is also creating ample opportunities for the smaller arms businesses in China, Russia and Israel to compete with H&K and expand.
The German government announced that they began their efforts to tighten their firearm export regulations in 2014. In 2015, several former employees of H&K were caught and arrested for illegally exporting firearms to Mexico. In early 2016, the German government announced an official halt to exporting both firearms and their technical information to Saudi Arabia.
One thing that is not clear, however, is whether the ban covers sales to individual civilians. H&K has previously covered individual sales to countries such as South Africa.
The German government is basically allocating and regulating the sales H&K’s firearms to democratic countries such as the U.S. and other democratic countries who also export and promote their sales to the U.S. This could be one of the first signs that, for the first time in history, they are refraining from trading with anyone who is thought to be corrupt and, hence, could be at a high risk for going to war. Democratic countries, such as the U.S., by nature go out of their way to consider all of the people on an equal basis. It seems as though the German government is seeing this as a very low war risk.