Since being founded in 1949, it’s estimated that German gun manufacturer Heckler & Koch’s guns have killed more than 2 million people.
The company is now pledging to no longer sell arms to any warzones or countries that violate corruption and democracy standards. These countries include Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, or any African countries.
Heckler & Koch’s new policy is an interesting change, especially since they were caught illegally selling their high-powered G36 assault rifles to Mexico in 2010.
The new policy has gone under the radar because it was never officially announced but it was included in their latest yearly financial report.
This move on H&K’s part makes them the first firearms company to have a more ethical export control than its own government. Known as Germany’s deadliest company by many activists, H&K says they will only sell to “green countries,” which must meet three criteria: membership of Nato or “Nato-equivalent” (Japan, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand); Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index; and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index.
Although they pledged to do no future business with countries that don’t make the cut, they will continue to honor existing contracts.