DC MPD Partners With ATF to Offer $5K Reward for Info on Illegal PMF’s

Editors Note: The following press release is directly from ATF. Regular readers of AmmoLand News know our stance on the unaccountable Federal Agency: No comment. We invite our readers to leave their hard-hitting insights in the comments below.

Privately Made Firearms PMF Ghost Guns
Privately Made Firearms PMF Ghost Guns

Washington, DC —The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division to combat violence by targeting illegal firearms in the District of Columbia. In an effort to incentivize community members to assist law enforcement, the ATF is offering an additional reward of up to $5,000 for the arrest of individuals possessing or trafficking-specific illegal firearms.

These firearms include Privately Made Firearms (PMF) or “Ghost Guns” and/or Handgun Conversion Devices, commonly referred to as “Auto Sears” or “Glock Switches.”

A Handgun Conversion Device is a part, or combination of parts, designed and intended for use in converting a semi-automatic handgun pistol into an automatic firearm. This year, at least 42 “Glock Switches” have been recovered in the District. Further, there have been approximately 150 reported incidents of automatic gunfire in the District, to include homicides and non-fatal shootings.

PMFs are not made by firearm manufacturers; instead, the manufacture will sell individual buyers the parts, and the buyer uses various drilling tools to construct and assemble the parts into a functional firearm. PMFs are also known as “Ghost Guns” because they are not serialized, and are thus, untraceable. There have been an increasing amount of PMF recoveries in Washington, D.C. in 2021.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $2,500 to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of an illegal firearm in the District of Columbia. This partnership with ATF will increase the total of up to $7,500. The additional reward amount is being offered through the remainder of the 2021 calendar year.

“In order to protect the safety and well-being of all District residents and visitors, we need to interrupt the illegal market of firearms. We all have a responsibility to prevent, interrupt and prosecute gun violence to make our communities safer. Our partnership with the ATF demonstrates the severity of the issue, and highlights the urgency of combating this community threat.” – MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III.

The increasing presence and recovery of illegal firearms in the District presents a troubling trend that continues to have a negative impact on our community. Guns that are constructed piece by piece are untraceable, unregulated and often tied to violent crimes. The selling and buying of illegal guns is an attempt for individuals to avoid our lawful gun registration system.

“The people who illegally possess Handgun Conversion Devices and illegally manufacture for distribution Privately Made Firearms are destroying our neighborhoods and taking people away from their family too soon. At ATF, we are taking a stand to demonstrate this must end and will not be tolerated in our communities,” said ATF Washington Field Division Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson.

MPD and ATF will continue to collaborate with our federal partners to disrupt the cycle of criminal acquisition and the deliberate misuse of firearms. We enlist the help of all community members and leaders to provide any information that will assist us in locating these illegal firearms so that we can save lives and hold individuals accountable for their actions.

Anyone who has information regarding gun recoveries should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information can be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. Tips can be submitted anonymously.

Below are photographs of Handgun Conversion Devices (“switches”/ “auto sears”):

Handgun Conversion Devices Switches or Auto Sears
Handgun Conversion Devices Switches or Auto Sears

Lead photograph is a Privately Made Firearms (PMF)/ (“ghost guns”):

Washington Field Division

Read Related: DC: Pay More for “Ghost Guns”; Get More “Ghost Guns”?

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations. More information about ATF and its programs can be found at www.atf.gov.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )

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Americans have been making their own firearms since before the founding. We will continue to do so, and the Constitution protects our right to do so. Laws prohibiting home manufacture of firearms are repugnant to the Constitution and have no legal power.

Deplorable Bill

“The RIGHT of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The 2A. This is THE law of the land, this is part of our constitution. The atfe took their oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, they are disavowing their oath. That is called treason. Threatening people under color of law is tyranny. Both treason and tyranny carry the death penalty but I have never even heard of an atfe agent being arrested much less convicted of either. This would be the SS arresting the gestapo or the KGB arresting the stazi.… Read more »


“The atfe took their oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, they are disavowing their oath. That is called treason.”

What about the Metropolitan Police Department?

Many hundreds of thousands of people in one branch of government took oaths and are enforcing unconstitutional laws.


what bothers me is the whole untraceable idea here. How often do the police have a legitimate need to trace a firearm back to the last person who bought it from a FFL?
How often do police find themselves with a gun used in a crime with no suspect and tracing that gun by the serial number leads them back to the criminal?
I have to think that is a pretty rare occurrence.
I would expect that the most common form of gun trace that is productive in investigating is done by ballistics.



F atf traitors and their extended families


Snitches get stitches.


Translation: Government thugs partner with government thugs to enforce unconstitutional laws, violate rights, and bribe Tories to turn on their countrymen.

There. I fixed that headline for you.

Dr. Strangelove

If I lived in the area, I’d buy a “ghost gun” and turn it in for the reward.


“Guns that are constructed piece by piece are untraceable, unregulated and often tied to violent crimes.“

Not true. Ghost guns are untraceable since their frame is not classified as a firearm initially and do not require a background check. If a firearm is put together piece by piece starting with a completed frame (such as a non-ghost AR-15 lower) the lower is considered a firearm. It then has to initially be sold through a dealer with a background check and is just as traceable as a firearm that was fully built by a manufacturer.

Arkansas Rob

Yes, you are correct. Even more offensive in the quoted statement is the last phrase. The word often suggests a majority of cases. Almost all PMFs are kept and used legally. The few exceptions aren’t out of proportion with the rest of the firearm crimes in the criminal element. Let’s focus on the criminal, not the gun.