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Chicago Sues Glock for Endangering Chicagoans by Manufacturing and Selling Handguns that Can Be Easily Modified to Illegal Machine Guns

City of Chicago v. Glock, Inc.

5.31.2024

Chicago, IL — On March 19, 2024, the City of Chicago, represented by the Chicago Law Department, Everytown Law, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Glock, Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Glock unreasonably endangers Chicagoans by manufacturing semiautomatic pistols in such a way that they can be easily converted into illegal machine guns in a matter of minutes with a cheap quarter-sized device called an “auto sear.” Despite knowing for decades that the design of its semiautomatic pistols allows for their easy conversion into illegal machine guns, Glock has chosen not to fix the problem in order to maximize sales and profit, with tragic consequences for Chicagoans. 

Once installed, an auto sear converts a semiautomatic pistol into an automatic weapon by allowing the shooter to fire the weapon continuously, without the shooter having to release the trigger repeatedly. This illegal conversion allows the pistol to fire at a rate as fast as, or faster than, many U.S. military fully automatic firearms and machine guns. Although auto sears are not manufactured by Glock, they are so frequently used on Glocks that they are commonly known as “Glock Switches” and often have the Glock logo on them.

The lawsuit alleges that Glock handguns–unlike other popular handguns–are uniquely susceptible to easy modification to allow for automatic fire and that Glock could fix the problem. The lawsuit alleges that Glock’s actions constitute an unfair business practice and are also negligent. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Glock creates, maintains, and contributes to a public nuisance in Chicago.

Through this lawsuit, the City is seeking a court order requiring Glock to cease sales of its easily converted pistols to Chicago civilians via its website and Illinois gun stores that serve the Chicago market and to bring Glock to account for continuing to endanger the public health and safety of the City and its residents.

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