Chicago Sues Glock Over 3D-Printable Machine Gun Converter | Tech

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The City of Chicago has sued gunmaker Glock for neglecting to address reports of gun owners illegally turning their handguns into machine guns with a 3D-printed part.

A small, quarter-sized part—called an auto sear or “Glock switch”—costs $20 online or can be manufactured at home with a 3D printer. Once it’s installed, the handgun can fire 1,200 rounds per minute, which the suit alleges contributes to deadly violence in the city.

“The ease with which Glock pistols can be modified with Glock switches has gained national attention in the past few years for its unique and outsized role in worsening America’s gun violence crisis,” the complaint says.

Chicago police say they have uncovered 1,100 guns with a Glock switch in connection with homicides, assaults, kidnappings, carjackings, and other crimes. Nationwide, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) saw a 400% increase in recoveries of illegally modified machine guns from 2020 to 2021 and a 570% increase in auto sears specifically.

“Right now, anyone in the United States with $20 and a screwdriver can convert their Glock pistol into an illegal machine gun in just a few minutes,” says Eric Tirschell, executive director of Everytown Law.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson called out Glock for “putting profits over public safety.”

The lawsuit alleges Glock is aware of the problem and seeks a court order to require the company to address it or stop selling the guns in Chicago. It is the first case filed through Illinois’s 2023 Firearms Industry Responsibility Act, which is intended to hold gun companies accountable for conduct that endangers the public.

Other lawsuits at the federal level have failed to curb 3D gun printing activities. In 2018, the Justice Department ruled it was legal to share files to 3D print guns, a major blow to gun violence prevention advocates. The state of California requires owners of 3D printed guns to register them, though the Chicago…

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