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The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer Glock, alleging that the company produces firearms that can be readily transformed into illegal automatic weapons.

According to the city, Glock’s pistols can be easily converted with “Glock switches,” transforming these semi-automatic guns into “machine guns.” The city argues that this issue has become increasingly concerning as Chicago Police have seized over 1,100 modified Glocks at crime scenes since 2021.

Glock Gen 5 Pistols

Mayor Brandon Johnson said, “The City of Chicago is encountering a deadly new frontier in the gun violence plaguing our communities because of the increase of fully automatic Glocks on our streets. Selling firearms that can so easily be converted into automatic weapons makes heinous acts even more deadly, so we are doing everything we can in collaboration with others committed to ending gun violence to hold Glock accountable for putting profits over public safety.”

The modifications, known as auto sears, are inexpensive and straightforward to install, significantly increasing a firearm’s fire rate to levels comparable to those of illegal automatic weapons. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has documented a significant uptick in the recovery of “illegally modified machine guns,” with a 400% rise from 2020 to 2021 and a 570% increase in auto sears since 2017 compared to the previous five years.

Lawyers for the city also argue that “Glock’s willful decision to not take any meaningful action to address this problem in its sales to civilians — despite its awareness — is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, and unreasonable.” They add, “Glock has made the business decision to continue profiting from the sales of its easily modifiable guns to the civilian market. The result endangers the health and safety of Chicagoans and increases and exacerbates the injuries and death from gun violence — draining the City’s public health, safety, investigative, and judicial resources and causing some City residents to fear using public streets, parks, schools, and transportation.”

Glock has not publicly responded to the lawsuit.


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