This week, more than 40 House Democrats wrote a letter to the ATF asking it to more explicitly prohibit accessories that are already illegal to own: newly built auto sears.
Auto sears, sometimes called “Glock switches,” are considered “machineguns” under the NFA/GCA. As such, unless one has the proper paperwork, including registration and tax stamp, and a sear that was built prior to 1986 (pre ’86 sears run upwards of $25,000), they’re outlawed.
A point that even the Dems acknowledged in their letter addressed to acting ATF Director Marvin Richardson.
“As you know, the National Firearms Act regulates machineguns as well as ‘any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun,’” they wrote.
“ATF has previously issued rulings on auto sears that only regulated certain auto sears by the National Firearms Act; however, there are multiple avenues to acquire these parts and a growing willingness by the gun industry to market these products,” they continued.
The lawmakers then referenced this post by Brownells on Twitter:
“We urge you to issue updated and explicit guidance on auto sears, put a stop to gun companies pushing the legal limits on these devices, and provide additional resources to help rid communities like ours of these dangerous devices,” they said.
Again, per federal law, civilians can’t possess post ’86 auto sears. Asking for clarification on a matter that doesn’t need clarification is a complete waste of time.
Criminals are, of course, the problem. They are the ones who are flouting the law and using 3D printers, CNC machines, and other methods to fabricate Glock switches and distribute them amongst their gangster friends. Expecting these violent offenders to suddenly adhere to “updated and explicit guidance” from ATF is laughable.
What law enforcement and prosecutors can and should do is start throwing the book at any violent perp caught with a switch. Federal guidelines allow for a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison for possession of an unregistered machine gun. This seems like a good place to start. Criminals may begin to get the message when they’re prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.