There are quite a few stories in the firearms world relating the idea that GCA68 was the word-for-word translation of the German (Nazi) Weapons Act of 1938 (GWA38). This certainly appears to be at least partially true. It is also apparent GCA68 was patterned after aspects of another post WWI law, German Law on Firearms and Ammunition of 1928 (German Law 1928). But, there is more to GCA68 than just German gun control laws. Great influence was provided by powerful, charismatic, forces to get German laws incorporated into US Law. And one must realize these laws did not travel from Germany across the Atlantic on their own; they definitely had some help. The provisions of GCA68 had been hotly sought after by Connecticut Senator Thomas J Dodd and President LB Johnson for several years. It had victories and set backs along the way, and still did not have all the measures they wanted to see in the final bill. In regard to LBJ's influence on gun control, it has to be said that there has never been a more convincing and powerful force over the will of Congress. He repeatedly championed the idea of total gun control in the last years of his term as President. At every chance, he used the television and other formal appearances to shamelessly promote the denial of Second Amendment rights to all Americans. We will include quite a few of the excerpts from his speeches and quotes to this end. GCA68 was preceded by the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act (OCCSSA), June 1968. The handgun control provisions in OCCSSA were amended by GCA68 to include rifles and shotguns. GCA68 took a very convoluted path to passage and ultimately drew upon the murder and assassination of at least three key figures to finally get the needed Congressional sponsorship and public support to pass. This article will give some insights and history of the passage of what is likely the most precedent-setting, restrictive, and damaging, gun control bill Americans have ever known. German Gun Laws After World War I Understandably, after WWI, The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to remove or render useless any arms, munitions, and war materials. Apart from the earlier laws in 1919, and 1920, German gun laws were not actually directed at the rank-and-file German. Instead, they were aimed at persons labeled "undesirables" such as Communists, Gypsies, and Jews. These groups were not legally German citizens as citizenship was refused based on ethnic factor. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, mass roundups were primarily directed at the Communists. Gun registration lists were reviewed to see who on the list were in possession of firearms. These were considered the most dangerous persons to the new leadership and were thus scheduled for pickup and detention in the camps. The noted persecution and roundup of the Jews did not begin in earnest until 1938. As a whole, the Germans under the Nazis enjoyed the laxest gun control measures since WWI. Gun control did exist, but by the issuance of permits, it allowed the government to weed out anyone they determined not fitting the pattern of a "good German." Thus, most Germans had little problem in firearms ownership and it was actually encouraged in the Nazi years. 1919 The "Regulations on Weapons Ownership" stated that all firearms and ammunition were to be surrendered immediately. Anyone found with firearms was subject to a fine of 100,000 Marks and 5 years in prison. 1920 The "Law on Disarmament of the People" put into effect the provisions of the Versailles Treaty in regard to military style firearms. 1928 The "Law on Firearms and Ammunition" (German 1928) relaxed the 1919 and 1920 firearms laws, but put strict licensing requirements into effect. Under this measure, Germans were permitted to own firearms, but were required to have separate permits (registration) to own or sell firearms, carry firearms, manufacture firearms, and professionally deal in firearms and ammunition. This law specifically revoked the 1919 Regulations on Weapons Ownership law. The 1928 law brought Germany from a period of unrest after WWI and brutal firearms seizure policy (and even on-the-spot executions) to a comprehensive gun control program. We will take this time to point out that this law, not GWA38, is what the Nazis used to round-up "undesirables" owning or possessing firearms since they had registered them upon purchase or at the time the law was passed. German Law 1928 had been in effect for 5 years before the Nazis came into power in 1933, and would remain in effect for 5 more years before the next German gun control law would be passed. Many story-tellers like to say that the Nazis enacted special laws when they came into power in 1933 to register persons with firearms and then go around confiscating them, specifically from the Communists and Jews. This story is simply not accurate as laws in place at the time served the Nazis well. What DID happen is that they used the existing registration lists to round up a selected list of undesirable persons to be sent to the camps. Weapons were also confiscated, but that was of little importance to the owners since they would not have a chance to use them in the work camps. It seems they forgot to use their guns to defend themselves. 1938 The "German Weapons Act" (GWA38) passed on March 18, 1938, superseded German Law 1928. Its provisions filled 12 pages in the Reichsgesetzblatt (Reich Legal Gazette or German equivalent of the U.S. Federal Register). Nazi Party members, government workers, and hunting permit holders were allowed to own firearms without any review or license. Firearm restrictions now only applied to handguns, but non-exempt persons still had to show "trustworthiness" and valid reason to own a handgun. Transfer of long guns and ammunition was deregulated. The legal age of gun ownership was dropped to18. Firearms permits were extended to three years from the previous one year. Jews were forbidden manufacturing and sales of firearms; however, some were still permitted to own personal firearms, assuming they had not been labeled an "enemy of the state." This "generosity" toward the Jews would not last long however. On November 7, 1938, a 17-year old Jewish son of a deported father went to the German embassy in Paris intending to shoot the ambassador. Instead he shot and killed the third secretary in the Embassy, who incidentally was being watched by the Gestapo because he opposed anti-Semitism and Nazism. This was enough "justification" to issue a "crack-down" on the Jews. On November 11, 1938, the "Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons" deprived all Jews the right to possess firearms or any other weapons such as clubs and knives. Much to their discredit, the Jews willingly gave up their firearms under this decree. If they had taken a stand with their firearms, perhaps it could have been somewhat different for them in the end. One noted Jewish exception and act of resistance was at the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943. Even though not in Germany-proper, all Jews under German held territories were subject to surrendering their guns. The gutsy group at the Warsaw ghetto held the Nazis at bay for three months with just a few weapons and very little ammunition. Approximately 56,000 were eventually captured and shot on the spot or sent to the death camp at Treblinka. This rebellion vexed the Nazi efforts enough to make a place in the history books describing an armed standoff by determined peoples. Most Jews went to the death camps with no resistance and under very little guard. The concept of firearms with "no sporting use" came from GWA38. It was forbidden to manufacture or possess "firearms which are adapted for folding or telescoping, shortening, or rapid disassembly beyond the generally usual extent for hunting and sporting purposes." Firearms with silencers or spotlights were prohibited. .22 caliber rimfire cartridges with hollow point bullets were outlawed. All firearms now were required to have serial numbers. The penalty for willfully or negligently violating the provisions of the law related to the carrying of a firearm was up to three-year imprisonment and a fine. A fine and indefinite imprisonment was imposed on anyone who violated other provisions of the law or regulations.