States Urge Glock Inc. to Secure Proof of Handguns' Conversion to Machine Guns


Glock Inc., Faces A Lawsuit Over Switches That Turn Pistols Into Machine Guns; NJ, D.C., & 11 Other States Tell Glock to Preserve Evidence

NEW JERSEY - In a significant legal move, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, together with the Attorneys General of 11 other states and the District of Columbia, has issued a formal request to Glock, Inc., urging the firearm manufacturer to preserve all evidence related to its line of pistols. This action follows allegations that Glock handguns can be easily modified into illegal machine guns, posing a severe public safety risk.

The collective demand for evidence preservation comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago on March 19. The lawsuit claims that Glock has been aware of the potential for its handguns to be converted into machine guns through the addition of an auto sear, colloquially known as a "Glock switch." This modification, according to Chicago, has made such altered firearms a preferred tool for criminal activities in the city.

Glock's alleged inaction to address the ease of converting its handguns into machine guns, despite knowing the possibility, has prompted Chicago to seek judicial intervention. The city aims to halt the sale of these potentially modifiable pistols to civilians in Chicago and to enforce stringent controls and procedures to curb their unlawful use and distribution.

Attorney General Platkin emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, "Turning a pistol into a deadly machine gun should not be as easy as fitting Lego pieces together." 

He highlighted the disturbing frequency at which law enforcement agencies are recovering modified weapons, underscoring the urgent need for responsible design and manufacturing practices to prevent such dangerous modifications.

"If Chicago’s allegations are true, it would be difficult to think of a better example of a company choosing bloody profits over public safety by ignoring more responsible design choices. Numbers don’t lie, and these modified weapons are being recovered by law enforcement at levels that are frankly shocking,” said Attorney General Platkin.

The lawsuit draws attention to the alarming capability of Glock switches to enable pistols to discharge up to 1,200 rounds per minute, rivaling the firing rate of military-grade automatic firearms. This capability, coupled with a reported 570% increase in seized machine-gun conversion parts between 2017 and 2021, as noted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, underscores the potential threat to public safety.

SAFE Director Ravi Ramanathan voiced concerns over the allegations, pointing out the inherent risks associated with allowing the sale of firearms that can be easily modified into machine guns, a class of weapons subject to stringent regulations due to their lethal nature.

“Machine guns have been heavily regulated and restricted for decades because of their obvious lethality,” said SAFE Director Ravi Ramanathan. “The allegations in Chicago’s lawsuit are disturbing and, if they are true, Glock is unreasonably endangering city residents by continuing to sell a firearm that can easily be modified for conversion into an illegal machine gun.”

The letter to Glock stresses the importance of preserving documents related to the modification, design, legal compliance, financial aspects, and marketing of Glock handguns. This comprehensive evidence collection aims to support potential legal actions and enforce state laws designed to protect the public from gun violence and illegal firearms modifications.

The coalition includes Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, all unified in their commitment to holding gun manufacturers accountable and safeguarding communities from gun-related violence.

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