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As Alabama House Lawmakers Adjourn the 2024 Legislative Session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Applaud the Movement of Bill to Ban Pistols That Have Been Converted Into Machine Guns

May 10, 2024

Montgomery, AL — The Alabama chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to Alabama House lawmakers’ adjourning the 2024 legislative session and the passage of HB36 in the House and advancement in the Senate Judiciary committee. Introduced by Representative Ensler, this legislation would ban the possession of pistols outfitted with devices that convert them into machine guns. The bill passed the House and Senate Judiciary Committee but did not make it to the Senate Floor before sine die. 

“We applaud Representative Ensler amongst other Alabama lawmakers who made our safety their priority this session. Though the bill did not pass, this advancement is promising for the gun violence prevention movement in our state,” said Ellen Melson, a volunteer with the Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Alabamans deserve to feel safe in their communities, and we will be back next session to advocate for this bill to be signed into law.”

“Change doesn’t happen overnight. This definitely wasn’t the outcome we hoped for, but it does signal the tide is shifting and that can’t be overlooked,” said Makayla Jordan, a volunteer leader with the University of Alabama Students Demand Action chapter. “Too many young people in Alabama have lost their lives because of cheap devices that turn handguns into illegal weapons of mass destruction. We’ll be back next session to make sure this legislation and other lifesaving gun laws cross the finish line.” 

Earlier this week, legislators in New York introduced first-in-the-nation legislation that would prohibit the sale of semi-automatic pistols that can easily be converted into illegal machine guns using Glock switches. Legislative efforts to prevent the proliferation of Glock switches have been bipartisan, just this year Republican governors in Virginia and Mississippi signed legislation into law to ban these conversion devices. Other states have passed bills to ban Glock switches in recent years, including Florida, Indiana and Louisiana. 

Machine gun conversion devices, including “Glock switches,” are aftermarket devices that allow users to convert semi-automatic firearms into illegal fully automatic machine guns. These devices pose a particular threat to law enforcement officers. Glock switches have been used in shootings that injured or killed law enforcement officers across the country, including in Mississippi, Texas, and Colorado. There have also been multiple mass shootings across Alabama using these devices, including at a dance studio, a New Year’s Eve party, and a convenience store

With a Glock switch installed, a shooter can fire an entire magazine’s worth of ammunition in seconds. Federal law already largely prohibits an individual from possessing machine guns and conversion devices, yet because there is no corresponding state law, Alabama often needs the help of federal authorities to crack down on this problem. According to ATF data, the number of Glock switches recovered in Alabama recently increased by over 1,200% year over year. 

Alabama has the fourth-highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S., and the fourth-highest rate of gun homicides. The rate of gun deaths has increased by 45% from 2013 to 2022 in Alabama, compared to a 36% increase nationwide. Gun violence costs Alabama $15.4 billion each year, of which $421.4 million is paid by taxpayers.


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