What happened to the SIG Sauer P320

Sig Sauer is becoming more American

The weapons manufacturer closes its location in Germany and complains in this connection, in addition to German regulations, that it is disadvantaged because of its "international orientation"

In 1751, 269 years ago, Lorenz Sauer founded a weapons manufacturer in the ethnically Franconian and politically at that time just electoral gunsmith town of Suhl, whose name successor company today produces the soon-to-be-standard pistol for the US Army - the P320, however - no longer in Germany. The last remaining Sig-Sauer production facility in Eckernförde in Schleswig-Holstein, where P226, P229, SSG 3000 and STR rifles were also manufactured in addition to the P210, P220 and P226 X series, is due to close there by the end of the year.

The Schleswig-Holstein State Secretary for Economic Affairs Thilo Rohlfs from the FDP announced today that he had been caught off guard by this "very bitter news for the region, but also for Schleswig-Holstein as a business location as a whole [...]". The coalition of the CDU, the Greens and the FDP had the official firing point for weapons and firecrackers in Eckernförde modernized at high tax costs "in order to send a clear signal in the direction of Sig Sauer". Now this facility may also be closed.

"Location disadvantages"

Sig Sauer justifies the closure of the German location with the currently apparently mandatory reference to the corona crisis with "location disadvantages", which in Germany "would not allow any economic production of sporting and official weapons" in the future. The company also refers to German gun law, which "restricts the use of sporting guns more and more".

In addition, "when awarding official contracts [...] both the German police and the Bundeswehr prefer a few local producers" - a reference to a large assault rifle order from the Bundeswehr, for which Sig Sauer publicly offered what he believed to be unfairly better access to the Competitors Heckler & Koch had criticized test ammunition. The background of the complained disadvantage of Sig Sauer is the opinion of the company managing director Tim Castagne after his "international orientation".

Three countries with different gun and commercial law

Sig Sauer GmbH & Co. KG is part of a holding company called L&O, which also includes the American Sig Sauer Inc. in Newington in the US state of New Hampshire and the Swiss Arms in Neuhausen, Switzerland, which in the 1970s included the name Sig for " Swiss Industrial Society "contributed. Germany, the USA and Switzerland are three countries with very different legal systems. Especially when it comes to weapons.

Three former German Sig-Sauer managers had neglected these differences in a way that was now legally binding German criminal court judgment from last year in a manner contrary to foreign trade and war weapons control when they sold a good 38,000 SP 2022 pistols between 2009 and 2011. The three are said to have been aware that of a total of 50,000 pistols of this type declared for the US market, only just under 12,000 would actually remain there. The buyers of the pistols in Colombia were not drug barons, but government agencies - and the resellers were the then US administration of Barack Obama, whose State Department had previously given an "end-use declaration" that the SP 2022 would not be exported any further.

After similar allegations were made in April regarding the delivery of 50,000 P320s to Mexican authorities, the German part of the company immediately pointed out that this weapon had not been developed here, nor had it been mass-produced:

On the other hand, Sig Sauer USA built its own product in large numbers and also exports it strictly in accordance with American export regulations and permits from the American government. Neither the Sig Sauer Germany nor the German government have any influence on this, nor the right to influence American activities. (Statement from Sig Sauer Germany)

(Peter Mühlbauer)

Read comments (163 posts) https://heise.de/-4776114Reporting errorsPrinting Telepolis is a participant in the amazon.de affiliate program advertisement