U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, has joined a group of 40 members of Congress in urging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to issue updated and explicit guidance on illegal machine gun conversion devices, also known as “auto sears.”
“These devices, which can allow weapons to fire at a rate of up to 1,200 bullets per minute, make shootings more deadly, make our law enforcement officers’ jobs more dangerous, and increase the risk that innocent bystanders could be injured or killed when such a volume of bullets is unleashed,” the members wrote in a letter to the bureau. “We urge you to issue updated and explicit guidance on auto sears, put a stop to gun companies pushing the legal limits on these devices, and provide additional resources to help rid communities like ours of these dangerous devices.”
The group, which included more than 10 members of California’s House delegation, cited the specific use of these devices in the mass shooting that killed six people last week in Sacramento.
“Just last week, a tragic shooting in Sacramento involving at least one gun that had been modified with an auto sear killed six people and wounded 12 others. Officials estimate at least 100 rounds were fired,” the members wrote. “In January 2022, a gunman shot three Houston police officers with a barrage of automatic gunfire using an auto sear.”
According to the Houston Bureau of ATF, the number of guns modified with auto sears seized by law enforcement across the U.S. has grown from 300 guns in 2020 to more than 1,500 in 2021.
— Dave Mason