Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Pushes for Ban on Gun ‘Switches’

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





Law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania are intensifying efforts to outlaw gun attachments known as “switches,” which can transform regular firearms into semi-automatic pistols, increasing the risk to public safety and law enforcement officers.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele emphasized the urgency of banning these devices, describing them as dangerously accessible and easy to obtain.

Detective Eric Nelson, an expert in firearms and ballistics from Montgomery County, demonstrated how switches function and their widespread use across various types of firearms.

The proliferation of switches extends beyond suburban areas, according to Captain James Kearney of the Philadelphia Police Gun Investigation Group, citing a recent incident where suspects used a switch-modified firearm in a shooting that injured multiple teenagers.

Under current federal law, any firearm modified with a switch is classified as a machine gun, making it illegal. However, law enforcement officials stress the need for state-level legislation to address this issue more effectively.

Steele highlighted the importance of state laws to empower local law enforcement in combating the spread of switch-modified firearms, as reliance solely on federal authorities may not suffice.

While switches are already prohibited in several states, including Delaware, Pennsylvania is actively considering legislation to ban them. A bill to outlaw switches has passed the House and awaits consideration in the State Senate.

The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association has urged lawmakers in Harrisburg to expedite the passage of this bill into law, emphasizing the collective commitment to enhancing public safety and reducing the threat posed by these firearm attachments.

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