On April 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Memphis, Tennessee seized 40 devices used to turn semi-automatic handguns fully automatic. The package was described in the paperwork as steel parts, but they are known as “Glock switches” or “Auto Sears.” They transform a semiautomatic gun into one capable of emptying an entire magazine with a single trigger pull.
The importation of these items is restricted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They were undeclared, mis-manifested, and lacked any ATF importation approvals. The shipper was in China, and the devices were en route to a small-town southeast of Mississippi. These items have also been seized on their way to the west coast states, Texas, and almost all the east and southeast coast. The port of Memphis has seized 525 so far this fiscal year, and seized 1,714 last fiscal year.
“These seizures show the breadth of items my officers encounter. Using their targeting experience, they’re able to consistently spot new shipping trends and keep these dangerous devices out of the hands of gun owners. There is a reason they are illegal,” said Benjamin Canfield, Acting Area Port Director of Memphis.
CBP personnel are trained to identify patterns and red flags that enable them to intercept shipments that may contain illicit and potentially dangerous goods.
This seizure took place within the Area Port of Memphis, which covers ports of entry throughout the state of Tennessee and falls under CBP’s New Orleans Field Office. This Field Office includes all ports in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.