Stopping Machine Gun Conversion Devices Through New Law Enforcement Initiative

Oklahoma City law enforcement and federal prosecutors are working to stop the spread of machinegun conversion devices through a new initiative called Project Switch Off.

Wednesday, November 29th 2023, 5:25 pm

By: News 9

The use of machine gun conversion devices or "switches" are a growing concern for local law enforcement and federal agencies. The agencies announced on Wednesday how they are working together to crack down on the illegal weapons through a new initiative.

At the Oklahoma City Police Department’s gun range an ATF agent demonstrated what a switch can do with one press of the trigger. In less than two seconds the agent fired off 26 rounds.

“They spray a lot of bullets and therefore become very deadly,” said Robert Troester, United States Attorney Western District of Oklahoma.

A switch can go almost undetected by the public, even law enforcement.

“By just flipping that switch 180 degrees now that’s ready to go full auto,” said ATF agent.

The federal agents at the demonstration event said even more alarming was the accessibility of the devices.

“You can print these on 3D printers in a matter of minutes and we’re seeing that all over the country,” said Jeffrey Boshek, ATF Special Agent.

Oklahoma City police detective Autumn Sheets said incidents with converted machine guns have doubled since last year. One involved a man using the weapon to fire shots and rob a metro CVS last year. Local law enforcement, federal prosecutors and the ATF are working together through an initiative called Project Switch Off.

“We are taking a no tolerance stance on this. If there is an incident where there is an arrest made or an investigation that needs to be done, we will do it,” said Sgt. Autumn Sheets, Oklahoma City Police Department. “We will then refer the case through ATF our federal partners to the U.S. Attorney’s office for federal prosecution.” 

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma has led the prosecution and conviction of eight individuals who illegally had converted machine guns. One being the CVS robbery suspect. 

“In the federal system you face 10 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release after a prison sentence,” said Troester. “And a $250,000 fine.” 


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