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Bill to Hold Glock Accountable for Its Role in the Gun Violence Crisis Passes Both Chambers of the New York Legislature; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond 

June 8, 2024

New York Lawmakers Pass Measure to Update Landmark Gun Industry Accountability Law to Hold Glock Accountable for Manufacturing Firearms that are Easily Converted into Illegal Machine Guns 

ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements applauding both chambers of the New York legislature for passing a landmark bill to update its first-in-the-nation gun industry accountability law to hold firearm manufacturers accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis. The passage of this bill in the Assembly came on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which is the start of Wear Orange weekend, after it passed the Senate on Thursday. Now that it has passed through both chambers of the legislature, it will soon be sent to Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk, where advocates will urge her to sign it into law. 

“When New York passed its landmark gun industry accountability law in 2021, our state became the first to create a new pathway to hold bad actors in the firearm industry accountable for the harms they cause. Now, we’re one step closer to expanding this groundbreaking law to put Glock and all other gun manufacturers on notice that they must take steps to ensure their products cannot easily be converted into illegal machine guns,” said Alexis Gevanter, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s time for Glock to fix the problem it created by manufacturing and selling handguns that can be turned into illegal machine guns in five minutes with $25 and a screwdriver – or be held liable in court. We’re grateful to our gun sense champions in the legislature for passing this bill, and we urge Governor Kathy Hochul to sign it when it hits her desk.” 

“With $25 and a screwdriver, anyone can turn a Glock pistol into a deadly, illegal machine gun. We’re grateful that our lawmakers are doing something to hold Glock accountable for this and, hopefully, finally forcing them to change,” said Cora Lynn Mundy, a volunteer leader with the Staten Island Academy Students Demand Action chapter. “This is the type of lifesaving and proactive legislation that my generation demands if we are truly going to address this gun violence crisis and keep illegal firearms out of our communities. We hope Governor Hochul will join us in this fight and sign it into law.” 

Senator Hoylman-Sigal and Assembly Member Simon’s legislation (S. 7365-B/A. 10053-A) will update New York’s landmark gun industry accountability law to explicitly require firearm manufacturers to take steps to ensure their handguns cannot be easily turned into machine guns with Glock switches. This bill is another step forward in holding gun makers like Glock accountable for enabling the spread of machine guns in our communities by producing pistols that are uniquely susceptible to being converted into machine guns using auto sears commonly known as “Glock switches.” This bill is part of the next frontier in the fight against firearm manufacturers like Glock who refuse to take responsibility for the destruction caused by their guns.

With yesterday marking the last day in this year’s legislative session, lawmakers have already passed several critical bills through both chambers that will further strengthen New York’s existing gun laws. New York has long been a national leader in gun violence prevention, with the second-strongest gun safety laws in the nation. As a result, New York has the fourth-lowest rate of gun deaths in the country, proving what we have long known to be true: Strong gun laws save lives. 

According to research conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Glock is the nation’s number one manufacturer of crime guns. On average, over 1.5 times more Glocks were recovered at crime scenes than the second-leading manufacturer across the collected data. 

Glock handguns are uniquely easy to convert into illegal machine guns using “Glock switches.” Glock has allegedly been aware of this lethal vulnerability for decades but has done nothing to update its pistol design. Make no mistake, this is an issue unique to Glock. Pistols made by other large manufacturers require extensive engineering beyond the average person’s capabilities to convert their handguns into machine guns, but a Glock handgun can easily be converted into an illegal machine gun with a $25 Glock switch and screwdriver. Glock has been able to profit from this design feature, as the company’s pistols are a go-to for criminals looking to circumvent federal law.

Glock switches” are cheap, small devices – roughly the size of a quarter – that allow pistols to fire up to 1,200 rounds per minute, a rate as fast as, or faster than, many fully automatic firearms and machine guns used by the United States military. 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 MississippiTexas, and Colorado

But, the clock is ticking on Glock’s reckless business practices. The City of Chicago, represented by Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, recently filed suit seeking to hold Glock accountable for the spread of illegal machine guns across the city. Additionally, lawmakers in New York recently introduced historic legislation that would prohibit the future sales in New York of any semi-automatic handguns  — like Glock pistols and their clones — that can be converted into fully automatic machine guns simply by the installation of a Glock switch. Recent 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 regulate these conversion devices. To date, 23 states across the country have passed laws that ban or regulate Glock switches and similar machine gun conversion devices. 

In March, a coalition of attorneys general from twelve states and Washington, D.C., sent a letter to Glock, calling on the company to preserve documents related to its pistols being able to be converted into machine guns, an indication that the states and D.C. may be investigating whether the sale of such easily modifiable guns violates their laws.

In an average year, 960 people die by guns in New York, and another 2,841 are wounded. Gun deaths and injuries cost New York $11.4 billion each year, of which $301.2 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in New York can be found here

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