Heckler & Koch

Critical Company Chronicle Heckler & Koch



“Critical Chronicle of Heckler & Koch’s rise to the global stage through the unrestrained export of small arms to human rights violating and warring states across the world”


Based in Germany and with subsidiaries in France, Great Britain and the USA, Heckler & Koch (H&K) is a world leader in the production and export of small arms (pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, etc.). H&K sees itself as a reliable partner for the military, police and Special Forces of NATO countries.


In contrast to the official "Chronicles", this "CRITICAL COMPANY CHRONICLE H&K" also names the dark sides of H&K AG and H&K GmbH (since the Second World War) - above all decades of arms transfers and licensing to states that violate human rights and wage wars. These critical chronicles gives perpetrators a face and a voice to victims all over the world.


That H&K has learned nothing from its deadly history is illustrated by the illegal export of thousands of G36 rifles to troubled provinces in Mexico. The investigations that followed our criminal complaint in this case were scandalously mishandled by the public prosecutor’s office. The verdict of the Stuttgart District Court consisting of acquittals or suspended prison sentences seems questionable. At least the company was sentenced to a fine and filed an appeal. For the first time in the history of H&K, illegal arms sales could be proven.


In cooperation with filmmakers we were able to reach an audience of millions with the story. See also GN-STAT-CASE 02 www.gn-stat.org > Cases.


In March 2020, the Heckler & Koch management announced the consistent implementation of the "Green Country Strategy" and the "Code of Ethics and Conduct" as a result of the dialogue with the critical shareholders of H&K. No other arms-exporting company in Germany has set itself such strict requirements - the Critical Shareholders will vigilantly monitor the implementation and the exceptions.


The future of the heavily indebted arms manufacturer, which rejects the conversion to civilian production (arms conversion), and a victim fund, remains unclear.


Publication: 1. April 2020

Author: Jürgen Grässlin


Attention: Standard versions in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German as well as the long version in German can be found on the homepage of the GLOBAL NET - STOP THE ARMS TRADE, see www.gn.stat.org > Company Overview (Company Profiles)


Translation in English: Ruth Rohde





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