***UPDATED*** Chicago Sues Glock, Accusing Gun Maker of ‘Facilitating Machine Guns’ – Bearing Arms

***UPDATED*** Chicago Sues Glock, Accusing Gun Maker of ‘Facilitating Machine Guns’ – Bearing Arms

For several years the gun control lobby and their allies in office have been making the argument that the federal government (including the federal courts) should treat some or all semi-automatic firearms as “machine guns” under the theory that federal law already prohibits firearms that are “readily convertible” to fully-automatic fire. Now the city of Chicago is making that argument the centerpiece of its new lawsuit against gunmaker Glock; accusing the company of “willfully” designing and selling handguns that can be illegally modified through the use of a switch, and demanding that the courts block the sale of Glock handguns… not only in Chicago (where there are no gun stores), but throughout the state of Illinois. 

“The lawsuit alleges that Glock unreasonably endangers Chicagoans by manufacturing and selling in the Chicago civilian market semiautomatic pistols that can easily be converted to illegal machine guns with an auto sear – a cheap, small device commonly known as a ‘Glock switch,'” the release said. 

The suit is the first to use Illinois’ new Firearms Industry Responsibility Act, passed and signed into law in 2023 to hold gun companies accountable for conduct that endangers the public, the mayor’s office said.

Two years ago, Democrats in Congress fired off a letter to ATF officials demanding they do something about the design of Glock pistols, encouraging the agency to reclassify the handguns as machine guns if necessary

Many Democrats say that it’s well within the power of the agency to apply this same strategy to curb the proliferation of modern-day auto sears, like Glock switches, though Luettke and other firearm experts contacted for this story told The Trace that doing so would mean having to regulate dozens of other similarly easy-to-convert handguns.

“A Glock is the most popular handgun in the United States. I think the ATF should explore, as they have in the past, using their regulatory measures to force companies to change their designs or face stricter classifications,” said Representative Eric Swalwell a Democrat from California, who also signed the April letter. 

“If they know that their Glocks can be retrofitted with auto sears that easily, and they’re not preventing it with simple design changes, that becomes a product liability,” said Auchincloss. 

The ATF hasn’t acted on the demands from Swalwell and his anti-2A buddies, but the announcement of Chicago’s lawsuit could be a signal that the agency is preparing to move. I doubt that Mayor Brandon Johnson filed this lawsuit without first talking to his pals in the gun control lobby, and given that gun control groups now have their own office in the White House, it would be almost unthinkable that the suit would be filed without some behind-the-scenes conversations with ATF Director Steve Dettelbach or his top deputies.

I’ve been concerned about this possibility for a couple of years now, especially since Joe Biden has previously declared that “the idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick.” Biden went even further in his comments in November, 2022, proclaiming that semi-automatic firearms have “no socially redeeming value, and maintaining that the only reason why they’re sold is the “profit for the gun manufacturers.”

That sounds like someone who’s all-in on the idea of reclassifying some or all semi-automatic firearms as machine guns, and Biden might very well be desperate enough to try to shore up support from his dwindling base by trying to enact a sweeping gun ban via ATF regulation instead of a vote in Congress. 

It’s not just “assault weapons” that the anti-gunners are trying to ban. If they get their way, the most commonly sold handguns would be illegal to purchase and possess, at least  without paying a $200 tax stamp and registering them under the National Firearms Act. I still think it’s more likely that Biden would hold off on that nuclear option until a second term, but if the gun control lobby starts pressing him on this, we could very well see Biden or Dettelbach announce a reclassification of Glocks and other semi-automatic firearms between now and November. 

***UPDATE*** 

It turns out that Brandon Johnson did talk to his gun control buddies before filing the lawsuit. In fact, Everytown is teaming up with the city of Chicago to go after Glock. 

Note what Feinblatt said in his post on X about federal officials “recently” talking to Glock about modifying its pistols. That suggests that the ATF is already actively looking into reclassifying at least some semi-automatic handguns as “machine guns”. We’ll be talking more about Chicago’s lawsuit and potential ATF action on tomorrow’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co with Mark Oliva of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and I encourage you to tune in for the latest details on the lawsuit and potential action from the Biden administration. 

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Originally Posted on: https://bearingarms.com/camedwards/2024/03/19/chicago-sues-glock-accusing-gun-maker-of-facilitating-machine-guns-n1224247
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