Neo Nazi's Gun Permit Denial Upheld

Associated Press/July 30, 1999
By Kevin O'Hanlon

Lincoln, Neb. -- Police were within their rights to deny a handgun permit for an American neo-Nazi convicted in Germany of spreading hate propaganda, a judge ruled Friday.

Lancaster County Judge Gale Pokorny rejected arguments by Gary Lauck that his German conviction could not be held against him because the material was disseminated from the United States and was protected by his right to free speech.

Pokorny upheld the permit rejection because Lauck answered "no'' on the application when asked if he had been convicted "in any court'' of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison.

Lauck, 46, was one of the main suppliers of anti-Semitic and racist literature and Nazi paraphernalia to German fascists for two decades. He frustrated German authorities by churning out hate material from his home in Lincoln and sending it overseas.

In 1995, he was arrested during a trip to Denmark, and he was later extradited to Germany. There he was convicted of inciting racial hatred and distributing pro-Hitler and anti-Jewish propaganda in violation of the German Constitution.

Lauck spent about four years in prison and was deported by Germany this year.

Pokorny suggested Lauck apply to the U.S. Treasury Department for an exemption to allow him to get a gun permit despite his conviction.

Matt LeMieux, head of the Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he would appeal. Lauck, who describes himself as a "free speech advocate, publisher and mail-order consultant,'' has said he was using the gun permit issue to get the government to admit it sees him as a criminal, even though he has not violated American laws.

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