Gaston Glock, inventor of the weapon that bears his name, dies at 94


Overcoming legal obstacles and benefiting from promotional campaigns, the Glock became a phenomenal seller, especially in the United States. It came in the mid-1980s, when crime rates were rising and police officers felt outgunned. New models and calibers with expanded clips were introduced. Two-thirds of U.S. police forces, including New York City, adopted the Glock, as did many federal, state, and county agencies.

Glock established manufacturing plants in the US, Europe and Asia and amassed a large personal fortune. He bought jet planes and a yacht, built an equestrian center to satisfy his passion for horses, and converted his vacation retreat in Velden, Austria, into a mansion on a guarded estate. He traveled and entertained his associates, including the right-wing extremist Jörg Haider. But he avoided publicity and valued his privacy.

He was vilified by gun control advocates and hailed by gun enthusiasts. Despite the Glock's popular depiction as a criminal weapon and its use in some of America's most spectacular mass shootings, Barrett, the author of “Glock,” said the weapon had not commonly been traced to the crime scene. ; in fact, much less than other brands of firearms.

“Glock, then, is no particular villain within the firearms fraternity,” Barrett wrote. “He's not a hero either, regardless of what Hollywood tells us on both counts.” In summary, he added: “Gaston Glock is one of the giants in the history of firearms, and he deserves mention along with Colt, Browning, Smith and Wesson.”

Gaston Glock was born in Vienna on July 19, 1929, the son of an Austrian railway worker. He attended public schools and, after his brief military service, graduated from a technical institute. Trained as an engineer, he joined a company that manufactured hand drills, rose to management and held a series of supervisory positions.

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