HITLER AMONG THE PEOPLE — The Führer was not afraid of his people. Unlike US presidents, the German Leader moved freely, openly and unharmed among them and made it easy for them to obtain and own firearms.
The author of this post is an anti-Hitler liberal. He favors gun control. And he shows how gun rights advocates are actually in the same boat with the Führer, who relaxed the strict gun control laws of the previous Weimar Republic and—far from wanting to confiscate private weapons—actually encouragedGerman citizens to have personal firearms. Here are the pertinent excerpts from this revealing article.
This week, people were shocked when the Drudge Report posted a giant picture of Hitler over a headline speculating that the White House will proceed with executive orders to limit access to firearms. The proposed orders are exceedingly tame, but Drudge’s reaction is actually a common conservative response to any invocation of gun control.
In his1994 book, NRA head Wayne LaPierre dwelled on the Hitler meme at length, writing: “In Germany, Jewish extermination began with the Nazi Weapon Law of 1938, signed by Adolf Hitler.”
And it makes a certain amount of intuitive sense: If you’re going to impose a brutal authoritarian regime on your populace, better to disarm them first so they can’t fight back.
CONFISCATION TALE IS BOGUS
Unfortunately for LaPierre et al., the notion that Hitler confiscated everyone’s guns is mostly bogus.
University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt explored this myth in depth in a 2004 articlepublished in the Fordham Law Review. As it turns out, the Weimar Republic, the German government that immediately preceded Hitler’s, actually had tougher gun laws than the [National Socialist government].
After its defeat in World War I, and agreeing to the harsh surrender terms laid out in the Treaty of Versailles, the German legislature in 1919 passed a law that effectively banned all private firearm possession, leading the government to confiscate guns already in circulation. In 1928, the Reichstag relaxed the regulation a bit, but put in place a strict registration regime that required citizens to acquire separate permits to own guns, sell them or carry them.
HITLER LAW EASED RESTRICTIONS FOR GERMAN CITIZENS, NOT JEWS
The 1938 law signed by Hitler, that LaPierre mentions in his book, basically does the opposite of what he says it did. “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition,” Harcourt wrote.
Meanwhile, many more categories of people, including [National Socialist] party members, were exempted from gun ownership regulations altogether, while the legal age of purchase was lowered from 20 to 18, and permit lengths were extended from one year to three years.
The law did prohibit Jews and [Communists, criminals and the mentally defective] from owning guns, but this should not be an indictment of gun control in general. Does the fact that Nazis forced Jews into horrendous ghettos indict urban planning?
QUOTE FALSELY ATTRIBUTED TO HITLER
… Much of the Hitler myth is based on an infamous quote falsely attributed to the Führer, which extols the virtue of gun control:
“This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”
The quote has been widely reproduced in blog posts and opinion columns about gun control, but it’s “probably a fraud and was likely never uttered,” according to Harcourt.
“This quotation, often seen without any date or citation at all, suffers from several credibility problems, the most significant of which is that the date often given  has no correlation with any legislative effort by the [National Socialists] for gun registration, nor would there have been any need for the Nazis to pass such a law, since gun registration laws passed by the Weimar government were already in effect,” researchers at the useful website GunCite note.