Chicago CBP seizes 117 weapon-modifying devices in early 2024 crackdown

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the International Mail Facility in Chicago have confiscated a total of 117 weapon-modifying devices since January 1st.

In the initial 43 days of 2024, Chicago CBP intercepted 43 shipments containing various components used to alter weapons, enabling them to become fully automatic or suppress gunshot noise. Among these, officers seized nine shipments containing a total of 55 pistol automatic fire conversion switches. One seizure included five AR-15 "Auto Sear" devices, which convert rifles to fully automatic fire and 33 seizures involved shipments carrying a total of 57 suppressors. 

The majority of these confiscations originated from China and were destined for various locations across the U.S.

"Our CBP officers demonstrate unwavering dedication to safeguarding the U.S., yielding significant results on a daily basis," stated LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations at the Chicago Field Office. "CBP officers are committed to intercepting the flow of dangerous illicit firearm conversion devices and other illegal gun parts from entering our country and endangering our communities."

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Pistol automatic fire conversion switches are illegal devices that transform standard handguns into machine guns, allowing users to fire maximum ammunition by pulling and holding the trigger. 

These devices can be procured online or fabricated using 3D printers. Similarly, the AR-15 "Auto Sear" performs the same function as pistol automatic fire conversion switches, converting semi-automatic AR-15s into fully automatic machine guns.

Suppressors, also known as silencers, are muzzle devices designed to reduce the sound emitted when a gun is fired. While suppressors are legal in 42 states, they are prohibited in eight states: California, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware. Owners must obtain approval from the ATF before purchasing a suppressor.

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