Stop Mini Machine Guns From Slaughtering Innocents

Target: Steve Dettelbach, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Goal: Strengthen guidelines and regulations regarding auto sears.

It’s less than an inch long and can be secured for as little as 20 dollars…or even for free with a 3D printer. It’s known as a switch, a button, or an auto sear. And it’s throwing fuel on the fire of the deadly gun violence in the United States. Gun switches can transform a typical pistol into a machine gun, firing with an unforgiving and indiscriminate fervor. They have become increasingly popular on the streets and especially in gang violence, where hundreds of rounds are sometimes found at crime scenes. A single drug dealer was recently arrested for possessing nearly five dozen switches. One of the most high-profile incidents allegedly involving gun switches took place in Sacramento in a mass shooting event that left half a dozen people dead.

Within the span of a few days, two tragic events reminded the nation of its gun violence problem. A 21-year-old shooter allegedly killed three people during an apparently racially motivated attack in Florida. And at a North Carolina university campus, a suspect reportedly killed a faculty member and prompted a lockdown. Both of these tragedies demonstrate just how deadly a legal weapon can be, so the reality that a routine firearm can be so easily made into an illegal and highly lethal killing instrument should compel a sense of urgency in America’s leaders.

Yet, as the recent spectacle during a Tennessee “special session” on guns shows–where signs and debate became the only things outlawed–the will for meaningful reform amongst many politicians is nonexistent. A few in Congress, however, did ask the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to update its guidance and its allocation of resources for gun switches. Sign the petition below to join in a potentially life-saving push for urgent change.


Dear Director Dettelbach,

“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…ATF must do more to protect communities across the United States.” This call to action–made by dozens of House members–was forwarded to your predecessor following a deadly Sacramento shooting that reportedly involved auto sears, or gun switches.

After noting that current regulation on gun switches is limited to a small pool of devices, the signees of this letter went on to “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.” In the wake of yet another high-profile incident of mass murder that shows Americans they cannot even feel safe in a dollar discount store (and in the wake of countless acts of unchecked gun violence on the streets of this nation every day) this call to action remains as relevant and important today as ever before.

Please answer the call and make the fight against these machine guns in miniature a top priority.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Toth Viktor

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201 Signatures

  • Elizabeth Marino
  • James Brown
  • Astrid Kuen
  • Steve Green
  • Kathryn Fenn
  • judith worrall
  • judith worrall
  • Shelley Costantini
  • Lynda Hughes
  • Ricki Newman
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