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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Hurwit Releases Public Service Announcement Warning Against Possession of Machinegun Conversion Devices

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho

BOISE – Today, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit, released a public service announcement, available here, designed to raise awareness on the dangers of illegal machinegun conversion devices, sometimes known as “switches” or “auto-sears.”

A machinegun conversion device is a device that, when integrated with a semiautomatic firearm, will convert it to fire in fully automatic capacity.  This conversion of a Glock pistol with a “switch” machinegun conversion device, for example, will result in a rate-of-fire of approximately 1,100 – 1,200 rounds per minute, making these devices exceptionally lethal.

“Glock switches and similar conversion devices are simple to manufacture and are easy to install.  They turn regular firearms into machineguns capable of inflicting a tremendous toll in a few split seconds,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit.  “We will not tolerate the proliferation of the devices on our streets and will use all of our resources to hold accountable anyone who would distribute these deadly and illegal devices.”

“These switches are illegal and serve no safe or useful purpose to a firearms owner,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Blais.  “We will investigate those who possess these devices.  In the past five years alone, ATF has recovered more than 31,000 of these switches.”

The PSA features a trained law enforcement agent demonstrating how these illegal devices turn a firearm into a machine gun that is essentially impossible to control.  In the PSA, U.S. Attorney Hurwit also explains that simply possessing a switch can result in significant penalties—up to 10 years in federal prison.

Anyone with information about switches or other federal gun crimes can call 1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867).




Public Information Officer

(208) 334-1211

Updated May 6, 2024

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