Chicago sues Glock, alleging gunmaker facilitates proliferation of machine guns in city

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Chicago sues Glock, alleging company enabling illegal machine guns
As Chicago gun violence persists, the city has filed a lawsuit against Glock, accusing the company of facilitating the proliferation of machine guns.

CHICAGO -- Chicago announced a first-of-its-kind lawsuit Tuesday against Glock, the manufacturer of some of the most popular handguns in the U.S., alleging Glock is facilitating the proliferation of illegal machine guns in the city, a news release from the mayor's office said.

"The lawsuit alleges that Glock unreasonably endangers Chicagoans by manufacturing and selling in the Chicago civilian market semiautomatic pistols that can easily be converted to illegal machine guns with an auto sear - a cheap, small device commonly known as a 'Glock switch,'" the release said.

The suit is the first to use Illinois' new Firearms Industry Responsibility Act, passed and signed into law in 2023 to hold gun companies accountable for conduct that endangers the public, the mayor's office said.

The suit was filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, and reports law enforcement have recovered over 1,100 Glocks converted to machine guns in the last two years in connection with a variety of crimes.

"The lawsuit alleges that Glock knows it could fix the problem but refuses to do so, and the City is seeking a court order requiring Glock to cease sales of its easily converted pistols to Chicago civilians. The City also seeks penalties against Glock and damages for the harm that Glock has caused to the City," the release said.

An investigation into Glock switches by our sister station WLS is referenced in the city's lawsuit.

Their investigative team reported that data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms revealed a six-fold increase in seized switches across the country the past five years. An analysis also found a significant jump in Chicago arrests linked to modified guns the past several years: almost 1,000 arrests in each of the past two years.

Juvenile arrests were seven times higher in 2022 compared to 2020, and the majority were 17-years-olds.