News10NBC investigates small device that turns gun into machine gun
Rochester, NY They are known as Auto Sears, which are small devices that turn a gun into a machine gun.
The police also call them “switches” and “converters,” and they are always illegal in New York State. Not only are auto sears found in guns in our city, but a local person is also accused of making and selling them. So we got ATF to show us what they do.
Special Agent Sean Martinek is a gunslinger. When he fired from his semi-automatic Glock service weapon, one shot fired each time the trigger was pulled. But when he fired a similar Glock with Auto Sear and an extended magazine, he fired 28 rounds in just a few seconds.
“As you can see from the demonstration, bullets are flying everywhere,” said Special Agent Martinek. “So now we are harming the general population or even the public.”
Watch an expanded version of the demonstration below.
Before the demonstration, Martinek showed me what an Auto Sears looked like. They are about the size of a dice.
Breen: “Under no circumstances would something like this be legal.”
Shawn Martinek, Special Agent ATF: “Correct. This switch by itself, any of these switches automatically, they are considered machine guns.”
Breen: “Will the law treat you as having a machine gun?”
Breen: “very nice.”
Auto Sear device is in our city this year. In July, when police arrested three alleged gang members hired to come to Rochester from Boston to kill rival drug dealers, police say they found an arsenal of guns, including an auto sear. Was also.
One of those arrested was Calvin Vickers Jr., who is also accused of firing 17 rounds, killing RPD officer Tony Mazurkiewicz, shooting his partner Sino Seung and shooting a 15-year-old girl as a stray.
Tamaya Walker She is 15 years old. Police say he was not shot with a gun, but he is an example of what gun violence has done to our city. He was shot with his family while sitting in his house.
“At first I was really scared,” Walker told me in July. “I was just shocked. At first I was thinking that if I got shot it would have been too much, even if it hurt.”
Breen: “What are you doing about it?”
Martinek, Special Agent ATF: “As soon as we hear about someone who is in possession of these things, we’re on it, especially ATF. As soon as we hear that someone is selling or making these things, we’re on it immediately. will take action.”
Breen: “And with the advent of 3D printers, it’s more likely that people can make them and sell them and get them out there.”
Martinec: “It’s definitely a possibility, unfortunately.”
A 32-year-old man from Brockport is accused of doing so.
Shane Scaccia, in federal custody, is accused of using a 3D printer to manufacture and sell plastic auto sears outside his apartment. The federal complaint says it sold eight Sears for $30, a little over $3 per piece.
Scaccia was arrested in April 2021. Her latest hearing was canceled in October. His lawyer, Matthew Lembke, declined to speak on camera about the matter in this story.
I asked Special Agent Martinek what the public would think after seeing his performance using Auto Sear.
“How dangerous are they,” he said. “How dangerous is an auto seers into a gun that is already dangerous, how does it take it to another level, in a community that is already plagued by gun violence.”
There is no data with the exact number of homes hit by bullets.
But this year, we have reported at least 20 cases. Police described some houses as riddled with bullets.
And in at least half of those cases, children were in the home, including several times in April when a 10-year-old child and 15-year-old Tamia Walker were killed in July.
Breen: “Do you think any of these houses being shot are being shot by guns with these devices?”
Lt. Greg Bello, RPD: “I certainly can’t discount it. With the number of criminals we’ve caught with these guns in the past few months, I can’t imagine them not being used to shoot houses Is. “
The RPD says, since July, they recovered two guns with a sear installed in the gun.
The ATF would not say how many cases they have. But an investigation by The Trace and Vice News found 260 and a thousand auto Sears recovered over the past five years. Click Here to read that report.
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