How a Glock Switch Transforms a Glock Into a Machine Gun

If you’re a gun owner, you might have heard of a device called a “Glock switch.”

It is a quarter-sized attachment that can transform a handgun into a fully automatic weapon. Adding it to a weapon allows a shooter to spray dozens of rounds with only one pull of the trigger, according to federal law enforcement.


Glock switches are small pieces of metal that can turn a semi-automatic pistol into a fully automatic gun. They’re about the size of a penny and can fire more than a dozen rounds in a minute, even if the gun is empty.

Despite the fact that they’re illegal, prosecutors are starting to get more cases where people have these devices and police are finding them more frequently at crime scenes.

The federal government says these switches are illegal to possess and make, regardless of whether they’re on a gun. They’re considered machine guns, which is why a person can be charged with a federal crime for possession of one.

The FBI is working with the ATF and local law enforcement to find these illegal parts that are coming into the country from countries around the world. The ATF has seized a package that came in from Russia with 20 such devices inside and is looking for more of them.


The glock switch is a piece of metal that converts a Glock into a fully automatic gun. They are made by independent sellers oversea with 3D printers and are becoming more popular as a way to increase firepower.

According to law enforcement officials, these switches are illegal and could land you in jail for a long time if you get caught with one. In fact, federal prosecutors in Oakland and Kansas City have already charged suspects with possessing them.

In New Orleans, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have been trying to educate local and federal law enforcement officers about this dangerous device.

The glock switch has been linked to several recent mass shootings across the country. The device can make a handgun into a machine gun and can be incredibly inaccurate.

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Adding a glock switch or auto sear to a handgun transforms it into a machine gun that can fire hundreds of rounds per minute. That’s about twice as many bullets as a standard semi-automatic pistol, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says.

‘It’s scary’ for police, ATF agents say
Law enforcement officers across the country are now being trained to recognize these quarter-size devices that turn handguns into automatic weapons. One trigger pull can clear out a magazine in less than two seconds; in one minute, a ‘Glock switch’ can fire 1,200 rounds.

Lightner said he is concerned these devices will make their way into the wrong hands. He explains they are being sold online and by criminal networks in Asia and California before heading east to places like Tennessee.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Mickey French tells FOX61 they see these devices on the streets with “alarming frequency.” The agency’s global task forces are targeting switches, extended magazines and silencers as a part of Operation Silent Night.


A Glock is a popular, legally-owned semi-automatic pistol that shoots one round each time you pull the trigger. But a device called a Glock switch can quickly attach to the rear of a Glock slide and convert it into a machine gun.

In just two seconds, a Glock switch can make a weapon capable of firing more than 1,100 rounds per minute. And because the device is illegal, it’s punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The ATF and law enforcement officials in the Greater Cincinnati area are cracking down on violent offenders caught using or making devices like a glock switch. Federal and local officials said they’re seeing these types of guns confiscated on a weekly basis in the region.

Some of the switches are imported from places like China, but some are made here in the United States on 3D printers. The ATF is working to track down where the switches are coming from, but they also warn that if you’re caught with a Glock switch, it’s an illegal possession that could lead to a federal prison sentence of up to 10 years.

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