A neo-Nazi who spent four years in European prisons for spreading antisemitic and racist literature surrendered to police today on a charge that he lied about his past on a gun permit application.
Gary Lauck, 46, marked "No" on the section of his application that asked whether he had ever been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by one year in prison.
Lauck was convicted in 1996 of inciting racial hatred and distributing pro-Hitler and anti-Jewish propaganda in violation of the German constitution. Lauck spent about four years in six different European prisons and was deported by Germany earlier this year.
Federal and state laws prohibit handgun permits for anyone convicted of a crime that carries a prison sentence of one year or more. Lauck could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of lying on the application.
Lauck argued 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. A judge rejected the argument in July.
Lauck was ordered held on $10,000 bond and later released.
"I don't believe I should have to buy my freedom for exercising my constitutional right to free speech," he said as he stood in leg irons in Lancaster County Court. "There is zero risk that I will flee."