Ed Driscoll

I Left My Heart in Schleswig-Holstein

“Tony Bennett: Gun Control Needed to Avoid ‘Kind of Turn That Happened’ in Nazi Germany.” Andrew Johnson blogs at the Corner:

Joining other celebrities at a Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally in Washington today, singer Tony Bennett pushed for gun control and warned that a lack of action may turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany. Describing himself as a pacifist, he said, “My own children were just told don’t ever have a gun, no guns in my house, they’re not allowed.” “[Guns] shouldn’t be on our streets here,” Bennett added, “It’s the kind of turn that happened to the great country of Germany, where the Nazis came over, and created tragic things, and they had to be told off.”

Actually, the reverse is true, as Richard Griffiths and Dave Kopel wrote a decade ago at NRO:

The Nazis did not create any new firearms laws until 1938. Before then, they were able to use the Weimar Republic’s gun controls to ensure that there would be no internal resistance to the Hitler regime.

In 1919, facing political and economic chaos and possible Communist revolution after Germany’s defeat in the First World War, the Weimar Republic enacted the Regulation of the Council of the People’s Delegates on Weapons Possession. The new law banned the civilian possession of all firearms and ammunition, and demanded their surrender “immediately.”

Once the political and economic situation stabilized, the Weimar Republic created a less draconian gun-control law. The law was similar to, although somewhat milder than, the gun laws currently demanded by the American gun-control lobby.

The Weimar Law on Firearms and Ammunition required a license to engage in any type of firearm business. A special license from the police was needed to either purchase or carry a firearm. The German police were granted complete discretion to deny licenses to criminals or individuals the police deemed untrustworthy. Unlimited police discretion over citizen gun acquisition is the foundation of the “Brady II” proposal introduced by Handgun Control, Inc., (now called the Brady Campaign) in 1994.

Under the Weimar law, no license was needed to possess a firearm in the home unless the citizen owned more than five guns of a particular type or stored more than 100 cartridges. The law’s requirements were more relaxed for firearms of a “hunting” or “sporting” type. Indeed, the Weimar statute was the world’s first gun law to create a formal distinction between sporting and non-sporting firearms. On the issues of home gun possession and sporting guns, the Weimar law was not as stringent as the current Massachusetts gun law, or some of modern proposals supported by American gun-control lobbyists.

Significantly, the Weimar law required the registration of most lawfully owned firearms, as do the laws of some American states. In Germany, the Weimar registration program law provided the information which the Nazis needed to disarm the Jews and others considered untrustworthy.

Or to put it another way, Tony, Ben Shapiro. Ben, Tony Bennett. Get to know each other.

Related: “Late you come, but still you come.”