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Four Kids Shot Along with Their Father In Memphis Road Rage Incident; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond

June 14, 2024

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement in response to a mass shooting road rage incident on Tuesday evening. The story is still developing, but reports show that the victims said there were around 15 to 20 bullets fired — the shooters were arrested with guns, one of which had a Glock switch on it. One of the shooters already had outstanding warrants, including attempted first-degree murder.

“When guns are the leading cause of death for kids and teens in Tennessee and across the country,, these horrific tragedies come as no surprise, but the cycle of pain still continues,” said Mary Powers, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As road rage shootings in Tennessee have continued to climb, lawmakers have yet to take meaningful action on gun safety — we will not rest until we can be safe in our communities and on the road.”

The Southern United States, which has weaker gun laws on average than the nation overall, sees the highest rates of victimization from road rage shootings, double those in the Northeast. States that do not require a permit to carry firearms (Tennessee being one of them) have some of the highest rates of road rage shootings with injuries or deaths, according to data from 2015 to 2022. States that did not require a carry permit had nearly triple the rate of road rage shooting victimization than those states with the most protective standards. Tennessee has had more than 20 people shot and killed or wounded in road rage incidents in each of the past four years, and so far 2024 is looking no different. 

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 Mississippi, Texas, and Colorado

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, Tennessee often needs the help of federal authorities to crack down on this problem.

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. 

Tennessee has the 12th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States and some of the weakest gun laws in the country. In an average year, 1,404 people die by guns. Gun violence costs Tennessee $18.0 billion each year, of which $415.5 million is paid by taxpayers. 

If you are interested in speaking with a Tennessee Moms Demand Action or Students Demand volunteer, or a policy expert please reach out to [email protected].

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]