11 Face Charges, Sale of “Switches” That Turn Semi-Automatic Pistols Into Machineguns

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.

Glock Switches IMG ATF File Photo
Glock Switches IMG ATF File Photo

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN –-(AmmoLand.com)- At a 3:00 p.m. press conference in Benton Harbor this afternoon, U.S. Attorney Mark Totten was joined by several local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement officials to announce that, earlier today, eleven men from Benton Harbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan were charged with drug trafficking and firearms crimes. Five were arrested this morning, and five were in custody on prior charges. Seven men face charges related to the possession and transfer of firearm conversion devices, known as “switches,” which transform ordinary semi-automatic pistols into fully automatic machineguns. According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, a switch can be installed with little technical knowledge in approximately one minute. Once installed, it can enable a semi-automatic pistol to fire over 1,000 rounds per minute with a single trigger pull.

“Today’s action represents a major step forward in our efforts to combat the rise of violent crime in Michigan,” said Mark Totten, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. “The destructive capacity of a firearm equipped with a switch is staggering. These devices are an emerging threat to our communities, our children, our law enforcement officers, and anyone who stands in the path of their indiscriminate spray.” Totten also commended the joint law-enforcement effort behind today’s action: “These charges represent a remarkable, multi-agency effort that involved the FBI and ten other federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners working together to keep West Michigan families safe.”

Approximately 200 law enforcement officers executed the arrest and search warrants early this morning in Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids, and St. Joseph, Michigan, as well as Port St. Lucie, Florida.

“Fighting violent crime requires approaches tailored to the needs of individual communities. That is why our approach to disrupting this conspiracy to distribute firearms, switches, and drugs involved the kind of coordination you see here today,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Michigan. “I believe it is the sacred duty of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to ensure people can live free from fear in their own homes and neighborhoods, and we will all continue to do everything we can to protect our communities from violent crime.”

“Conversion devices are not simple firearms parts or metal accessories, as commonly advertised. When a person uses an illegally converted weapon that shoots multiple rounds by a single function, it poses an even more serious threat to public safety,” said Craig Kailimai, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Detroit Field Division. “The collaborative effort and commitment between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, our Federal, State of Michigan, and Local partners to investigate and prosecute these cases protects our communities from this violent threat.”

The investigation was led by the FBI, acting in cooperation with the Michigan State Police Southwest Enforcement Team (“SWET”), ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, Benton Township Police Department, Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Tribal Police, Michigan Department of Corrections, and United States Postal Inspection Service.

The charges in a complaint are merely accusations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. A copy of the criminal complaint can be found here.

Law enforcement continues to search for Eric Williams. Members of the public with information as to Williams’s whereabouts are encouraged to contact the United States Marshals Service at (616) 456-2438. He is believed to be located in either Benton Harbor or Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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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1st things 1st, where can I get a 1000 round magazine…. Besides the fact the barrel would burst into flames around 500 I’m guessing. These dipshit political crusaders think they just solved the worlds gun problem. The problem isn’t the gun, it’s the dumbass behind it…and yes, why is it always Glocks ? There are so many ways to modify your firearm, but these people all want to do it for $20. You should instead drug test everyone on welfare, about 2 hours after they get their check. The 200 billion saved every month would be a great start for… Read more »


plastic would melt around 200 rounds


Right on!


If I were to select a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today, I would pick BATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms]. – U.S. Representative John Dingell, 1980


Rep. John Dingell Jr. must spin in his grave every time his widow, Rep. Debbie Dingell, opens her mouth.


I see the government thugs are bragging about armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and violation of rights again.


Leftists have machine gun brains. Devices like this are correspondent to a list of mechanical functions like car repair, washing machines, lawnmowers. air conditioners, maybe even hand buzzers from a joke shop.


400 for one school shooter. And no one in charge.


Unfortunately captain Alvarado (?) was in charge. Of course he ordered inaction, so was worse than no leader.


Kind of the reverse of Sgt. York.

Deplorable Bill

What IS a threat to this country is the atfe. Any government agency which swears oath and allegiance to the people, the nation and the constitution and then disavows that oath is treasonous to the oath, to the people, to the nation and to the constitution. Treason, tyranny, murder, murder by proxy, assault, battery, theft, trespassing, breaking and entering, threats and intimidation are some, not all, of the crimes THAT I HAVE PERSONALLY SEEN the atfe do, and those who support them, those who fund them are also guilty as equal partners. SEVERAL of the listed crimes carry the death… Read more »


line them up and shoot them all with a magic bullet like jfk


F*ck those jack booted atf assholes and their extended families!!!

Lumps of coal and carbon monoxide poisoning all around.


No “AMERICAN” would work for atf. atf agents could give America a present for Christmas…….Kill themselves! F em!!!!!

uncle dudley

I wonder if ATF has contacted Glock firearms and told them to change the pistols where these devices won’t work on them?
I don’t remember seeing any photos of other brand of handguns with this device on it.


Crooks miss a lot as it is. They well miss more with a machine pistol then a semi auto.


The appropriate solution to such spraying is a slug mid-chest, not weapons legislative musical chairs.



seems a goodly number of their “haul” in human cargo were out on bond, had priors, long records of unlawful conduct,etc, and should NOT have been allowed to roam about in public without qualified custodians.
Let the trash out of custody then wonder why they get involved in this sort of games……. Jeep em in the lockup where they belong and you wouldn’t have to spend the time and money to go find then round them up again. Oh wait, I just answered my own question: jb security.


You are exactly right! However our current day lawn enforcement feels that if they let the cockroaches out of their traps, then watch where they go to feed and pray on society that they can gather more Intel to catch more cockroaches. Of course they use innocent civilians for bait each and every time and society in a hole doesn’t seem to pick up on that in order to demand this method be shut down. Using civilians for bait to catch criminals is a federal offense.


yeah, i was going to say that a magazine with 1000 rounds would be very heavy and you would need a wheelbarrow to transport it, but the weight would help control the muzzle flip when firing.
do these dumbasses have someone proofread their propaganda before sending it out?


Probably the very ones that plan these operations are the same ones that proofread the propaganda.


a thusand rounds a minute… when the argest mag availble holds fifteen? Yeah, right. And of those “thousand rounds” launched each minute how many are on point?

Hysterical government madness.

Its not the fact that this gun COULD fire at that high rate of speed (and go to slide lock in about two seconds), Its really about WHO holds the tool.


I once asked my dad what kind of weapon he carried in WW2, his reply was one that didn’t require him to carry all that heavy ammunition to feed it. Machine gun glocks made with polymer frames shooting 1000 rpm? Sounds like a typical ATF narrative that wasn’t given much thought other to have a talking point. Although the novelty of shooting real fast has it’s occasional appeal, the ability to hit your target with the least amount ammunition and with precision is my personal favorite. But the right of preference seems to be the crux of anything controlled by… Read more »


I was wondering how many readers here have been relieved of their constitutional and lawful (sic) weapons, while committing no crime, by a vastly outnumbered government force, as I have? And then, I wonder how they feel about that?


Truth Jurist

So, tell us about the weapons of which you were relieved and what was the basis for their removal. Then we will pass judgement. In the meantime, Merry Christmas!


I was hoping that someone else who has suffered this action would pipe in. I would like to hear from them because there is a difference between talk and walk. I think that most people automatically assume the government is right, even though the written and signed law and the written and ratified constitution say the weapon owner is correct. In my case, this was a federal property issue. Every person that I have spoken to says you can’t have weapons on federal property, but the law does not say that, except for postal facilities, and that is in contradiction… Read more »


This sounds like you’re going to have to go into specific detail as to why your hardware was confiscated from you. The mechanisms of criminal law and properly applied usually work on behalf of the wronged. Please by all means give us the details..


I have done lawyers and courts. They did work to the rights of the wronged in the case of the Cliven Bundy, but he lost a lot of his teeth while he was rotting in jail. Also, there is the matter of money – lots of it – which the other side already has through various insidious methods, but you have to pay from your savings. No, the mechanisms of criminal law do not work well for the oppressed. Besides, since they do not have a crime to charge you with, they just roll over you with their big government… Read more »


I feel so much safer now…


Whew! Thank God! And THAT only cost the taxpayers about a half a million dollars.

Last edited 1 month ago by USMC0351Grunt

Sentences will run concurrent with those for drug trafficking. The net effect of the investigation is a huge amount of tax dollars wasted. Arrest the people trafficking in drugs and involved in violent crimes. Prosecute them for their crimes and leave gun owners alone. Gun laws rarely if ever serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose.


All total this will cost the taxpayers about $5 million bucks. People don’t look at the taxpayer money wasted on recidivism. If we lock up the idiots that create things like recidivism and the ideal that you can reform a 27 time convict, a LOT of this WASTEFUL SPENDING would go away!

Last edited 1 month ago by USMC0351Grunt

Because priorities and shit.


Why the fook is ATF posting on this website now, and why hasn’t anyone else made mention of this?


“Put the FBI on the FBI watch list” sweatshirt from Dinesh D’Sousa website. Should add ATF as well.


Sooooo, how many felonies have been committed by this little evil device over the last hundred years? Inquiring minds want to know


This is where I grew up. This is very alarming to see in this area of the state of southwestern Michigan or northwestern Indiana. THIS is very alarming because these people are very much asleep. The Michigan State troopers have always been rated number three in the nation. They are good they are damn good. But for this kind of threat to encroach on that area is extremely alarming. Has a side note a Merry Christmas to you all on Ammoland.


I respectably disagree with Jayson and Ope, in this case, this is exactly what law enforcement should be doing. The scum peddling drug dealers is destroying our communities with their poison and gang activity, l say hooray! I don’t even care if it took 100 officers to take the perps down in two states, we all should be thanking them for their service. Now, if these same people would leave FFL’s alone for paperwork violations and law abiding gun owners for harassment and worse… That’s all l want for Christmas, and resend the new firearm application form, Red flag laws,… Read more »


So arrest the scum peddling drug dealers for drug violations, not unconstitutional weapons laws.



how’s about taking those lists of “controlled substances” and DE-control them? On what basis do gummit declare this dangerous chemical mustn’t be possessed by commoners naughty naughty naughty but these OTHER substances can be? Criminalisong the mere possession and/or sale of certain substances only puts them… wait for it.. into the ctegoryof illegal and thus involves masive profit taking based on the elevated riskfactor. Then there is the guilt-by-association factor.. trade in prohibited items you are a criminal by definition. Possess items which are crimNthey get to justify their existance (and their portion of the slop in the public trough)… Read more »


So rights violations are fine as long as it’s done to people you don’t like. I wasn’t aware that’s how the constitution worked.