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Police say number of gun 'switches' are on the rise in Connecticut

Guns New York
Bebeto Matthews
John Deloca, owner of Seneca Sporting Range, prepares to fire his 9mm semi-automatic handgun during a shooting demonstration at his gun range, June 23, 2022, in New York.

Switches that can transform semi-automatic guns into machine guns in a matter of minutes are appearing throughout Connecticut.

These fingernail-sized devices, commonly known as Glock "switches" but also referred to as "auto sears," are easy to attach to common pistols. Once attached, this device can convert a single-bullet firing weapon into one that can fire all of its magazine until the trigger is lifted.

To the untrained eye, these devices may look like an odd Lego piece or a tiny black block sticking out when attached to a handgun.

According to state police, more switches have been popping up due to the ease of obtaining and hiding them. They are illegal to own, but they can be found online for about $20. Police also said criminals are using 3D printers to create them.

In the past year, Waterbuy police have confiscated multiple switches and New Haven police have found nearly a dozen. Under state law, the attachment turns a handgun into an assault-style weapon.

New Haven Police Commissioner Matt Lawlor suggests a step to stop these switches from being on the streets is to teach local law enforcement and the public how to identify them.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.