While gun control measures continue to be argued in Congress following a spate of recent mass-shootings, a different type of gun battle is taking shape in Atlanta.
Welcome to the messy breakup of the first family of handguns. In addition to private ownership, Glock is the chosen handgun of nearly two-thirds of all law enforcement groups in the United States at a federal, state, and local level. In addition, its high capacity firearms are the preferred weapon of countless law enforcement agents and members of the military worldwide.
This new chapter in this ongoing family feud has shifted to the United States, following a lack of progress in Austrian civil court. The suit, filed in 2011 by Helga Glock and her three children against her former husband and the the children’s father Gaston Glock, alleges that since their divorce the four plaintiffs have effectively been ousted from the company without compensation.
Helga believes that her stake in the gun giant was improperly shifted from her control by advisers to her 83-year-old ex-husband and his new wife, Kathrin Tschikof, who is in her early 30s. She maintains that over 49 years of marriage she was an intricate piece of the company’s success. Additionally, the three children Brigitte, Gaston Jr., and Robert spent decades building the company from a garage gun shop into a global manufacturing behemoth.
Helga has hired an Atlanta law firm, Arnall Golden Gregory, to pursue a court order that would force Glock GmbH’s American subsidiary Glock Inc., located in suburban Atlanta, to turn over boxes of documents charting Gaston Sr.’s financial holdings.
Technically the suit is a “ex part application for judicial assistance in obtaining evidence for use in a foreign tribunal.” Glock Inc. has yet to comment as the suit sits in front of a federal magistrate in Atlanta.
A few highlights from the suit: (Courtesy of Bloomberg)
- According to Helga, the three children “were being prepared to take over the company’s management, and all three worked in the business from an early age. Respective of their ages, they would take over appropriate responsibilities.”
- “Many things changed after my former husband had a stroke on Oct. 23, 2008,” Helga states in an affidavit dated March 7 that was included in the legal papers. “As he was recovering in the hospital, weak and frail, Mr. Glock was being ‘looked after’ by Kathrin Tschikof, his 50-years-younger girlfriend who was downright engrossed with him. She totally denied me and other family members any access to Glock Sr., warning us that such contact would threaten another stroke or possibly cause death. After that, Gaston Sr. starting breaking off contact with me, all three children, including his grandchildren, more and more. In early 2010, Gaston Sr. terminated all three children under false statements from the company.”
- “At the time when Gaston Sr. started pushing his family out,” Helga continues, “he had a worldwide wealth of billions. It is now becoming evident that in anticipation of filing for divorce, Gaston Sr. had already started to move and hide personal and corporate assets, that he had started to line up new business endeavors, and was trying to find ways to reduce the family’s wealth … and eventually eliminate it entirely.”
As it is believed that numerous players in the gun industry are interested in acquiring Glock, this suit will determine the financial future of a great number of power players.