Guns 'made in Germany' are popular, making it the world's fourth biggest arms exporter. DW went to a major center of the German weapons industry, Oberndorf am Neckar, where various arms manufacturers are based. One of them is Heckler & Koch.
The German government has approved less small arms exports during the first six months of 2018 compared to last year. But critics have cast doubt on the decrease, saying light weapons sales have grown significantly.
MPs from Angela Merkel's CDU have been accused of taking bribes from the German gunmaker Heckler & Koch to grease the export wheels. Germany's opaque party donations system remains vulnerable to bribery, activists say.
Heckler & Koch's trial over an illegal deal with Mexico is about to begin in Stuttgart. The Oberndorf company has flooded the world's conflict zones with guns, most famously the G3 and the G36 assault rifles.
Germany's biggest small arms maker is bidding for the contract to supply the German army's standard assault rifle. But Heckler & Koch's HK433 would only replace the firm's own scandal-ridden G36.
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