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Leftist politician accused of illegally selling machine guns

The Local · 14 Aug 2010, 12:01

Published: 14 Aug 2010 12:01 GMT+02:00

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Manfred Hämmerle, chairman of the party in Hückelhoven near the Dutch border, has been accused of illegally selling a submachine gun, and possibly a Kalashnikov AK47 as well as an Uzi machine gun.

Der Spiegel magazine, which reported the story on Saturday, said he could face at least a year in prison if convicted of charges of breaking the military weapons control laws.

Hämmerle, 44, reportedly a keen sports marksman, came to the attention of prosecutors after an optician was murdered, shot to death with his own English Sten MkII submachine gun.

Detectives discovered he had bought the weapon from Hämmerle, who is also accused of illegally supplying several other powerful weapons.

A conviction would be doubly embarrassing for The Left, or Die Linke in German, because the party is avowedly pacifist, and has been campaigning for a ban on weapons being kept in private homes.

Story continues below…

“That is a serious break with the anti-war policy of our party,” Ulla Jelpke, MP for The Left said with reference to the traffic in weapons.

“My client did not exactly know the legal situation,” said Hämmerle’s lawyer Heribert Kayenburg.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:23 August 14, 2010 by Frenemy
"accused of illegally selling a submachine gun, and possibly a Kalashnikov AK47 as well as an Uzi machine gun. "

...Uzis ARE submachine guns!
20:01 August 14, 2010 by whatzup
Hämmerle knew the legal situation all right, he just happened to be caught. How typical of the left, caught espousing the party line and and acting quite differently in private.
20:04 August 14, 2010 by wenddiver
@Frenemy-I wonder whatever became of all the Uzis West Germany bought from Israel in the late 1970s, before the H&K, MP-5s came into German service???? They had a lot of them, but I don;t recall any of them showing up on the US Market, either as class III sales or as parts kits without the Auto sear. I would love to own a Bubdesrepublic marked collapsible stock UZI as a cold war collectable,.

Above Article-The Reds are liars who only want to disarm Free men, to enslave them.
20:30 August 14, 2010 by Frenemy
@wenddiver: your guess is as good as mine. If they haven't "hit the streets" since the H&Ks came into service, they're probably locked up in a German storage facility somewhere (Germany isn't really in the habit of arming proxy militias, so I doubt they've been "gifted" to anyone)...
20:50 August 14, 2010 by Joshontour
Hey Local... Considering your audience, this headline could be considered sensationalism. Proper machine guns use larger caliber rifle rounds. What you have listed are a sub-machine gun and an assault rifle.
15:47 August 16, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
The Uzis are oiled, in storage crates, and would be issued to class C-ish reserves (who originally qualified on them) in case of mass mobilization.

The only thing in terms of small arms that the Bundeswehr ever tossed out was that junk we inherited from East Germany.
18:57 August 16, 2010 by Frenemy
@Der Grenadier aus Aachen:

Random question: Aside from all the sh!tty Ossie small arms we acquired, didn't we also inherit a few MiG fighters as well? (or am I mistaken?)
22:16 August 16, 2010 by wenddiver
@Der Grenadier Aus Aachen- Thanks for info, alot of the DDRs stuff ended up in the US Surplus market. I think it's probably a good decision to store a lot of weapons considering Germany's location in the world.

I am not a real serious collector, just enjoy things that catch my fancy.

@Frenemy-I saw two modern Sukhio at Pensacola Naval Air Station, with German markings. These would be very formidable with a Western Electronics and weapons upgrade, which I can't imagine your military not doing. The Luftwaffe giys also train out by Las Vegas, Nevada.
22:58 August 16, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Yeah, there were some MiGs. We gave some MiG-23s and Sukohi 22s to the USAF for evaluation usage. The MiG-29s were active duty aircraft for a while, used almost exclusively as aggressor squadrons in NATO exercises. They were just crap quality, in the end. They were sold to Poland for 1 EUR a piece in 2004. 1 of them is still on display at Laage. Everything else either went to the scrap-heap or was given away to various new NATO members in the eastern block. A few of the tanks were used for evaluation purposes or as live fire targets.

Most of the staff was discarded, too. Low-ranking officers were given a fair chance to integrate into the western command system with a 1-grade reduction in rank, but it worked out for very few of them. Bundeswehr doctrine teaches initiative and a concept of responsible leadership. Volksarmee officers were basically drones waiting to be commanded around. Some adapted, some didn't. High-ranking officers were not accepted due to various reasons, all of which can be condensed into two issues: 1) Political indoctrination, and 2) Espionage.

I have no idea what aircraft the German air force operates at the US training facilities, but I really doubt there are any Sukhoi. Russian-designed engines burn fast and hard, and must be replaced very often. It would be a logistical nightmare to operate a Sukhoi so far from a reliable source of spare parts. I am also pretty sure we got rid of all that eastern block crap after we concluded with some finality that they are, in fact, not a credible threat to our air force.
05:29 August 17, 2010 by Garth Rex
Let's hope that Germany will not make the mistake that Britain has made in severely restricting the right of civilians to own, keep and bear firearms, for the day will surely come again when Germany will need to defend itself.

America's success in WWII was, in no small measure, due to the average American's familiarity and skills with firearms.

To those who say that private possession of firearms automatically leads to increased crime, one can say "Look at Switzeraland, where EVERY home has at least one military rifle and ammunition in the house!"...and where the crime rates, including those involving firearms, are EXCEEDINGLY LOW!

I would not scoff at Russian military equipment: The Kalashnikov is the World's most successful military rifle. They don't always make beautiful stuff, but their weapons are deadly, durable and reliable.
11:59 August 17, 2010 by Essertpitay
I have never read so much drivel from pro-arms fanatics, especially the last thread.

I particularly like the analogy with the US troops doing well during WWII. That's a new one as far as I am concerned.
12:37 August 17, 2010 by Frenemy
@Grenadier & wenddiver:

...what would really be nice is if we had a few Ka-52 Alligators to ¦quot;evaluate¦quot;! (especially since the Russians are planning to launch them from French Mistral-class ships during amphibious ops)
16:51 August 19, 2010 by Nand the MountingPlus Man
The illegal possession of firearms should be penalized. Those who are having this illegal act are basically irresponsible in handling guns. I like the concept of the AK 47 that is posted above. It is okay to mount a Horus Vision to a AK 47 riffle?
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