17 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 483 (2000)
Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the German Jews

handle is hein.journals/ajicl17 and id is 497 raw text is: NAZI FIREARMS LAW AND THE DISARMING OF THE GERMAN
Stephen P. Halbrook*
We are in danger of forgetting that the Bill of Rights reflects
experience with police excesses. It is not only under Nazi rule that
police excesses are inimical to freedom. It is easy to make light of
insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties
when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. It is too easy. History
bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty
extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the
Justice Felix Frankfurter'
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to
allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all
conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms
have prepared their own downfall by so doing.
Adolph Hitler
Gun control laws are depicted as benign and historically progressive.3
However, German firearm laws and hysteria created against Jewish firearm owners
played a major role in laying the groundwork for the eradication of German Jewry in
*     © Copyright 2000 by Stephen P. Halbrook. All rights reserved. The author holds
a Ph.D. from Florida State University and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Located in
Fairfax, Virginia, he litigates constitutional law issues in the federal courts, including the
Supreme Court. His recent books include Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the
Right to Bear Arms, 1866-1876 (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998); Target Switzerland: Swiss
Armed Neutrality in World War II (New York: Sarpedon, 1998); Die Schweiz im Visier
(Verlage Novalis Schafthausen/Rothenhausler Stifa, CH, 1999); and La Suisse encerclie
(Geneva: Editions Slatkine, 2000). The author wishes to acknowledge Therese Klee Hathaway
for her assistance in German translations and the following for their research assistance: Katya
Andrusz, Jay Simkin, Lisa Halbrook-Stevenson, Heather Barry, and Dave Fischer.
I.    Davis v. United States, 328 U.S. 582, 597 (1946) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting).
2.    HITLER'S SECRET CoNvERSATIONs 403 (Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens
trans., 1961).
3.    But if watering down is the mode of the day, I would prefer to water down the
Second Amendment rather than the Fourth Amendment. Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143,
152 (1972) (Douglas, J., dissenting). There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred

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