EBR District Attorney pushes for 10-year sentencing for modifying weapon

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — Homemade devices are turning semi-automatic weapons into machine guns and police across Louisiana said those modifications are becoming more popular.

A Glock switch or auto sear are small homemade devices that can turn a semi-automatic gun into a serious killing machine.

“They can expel eleven to twelve hundred rounds per minute,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Marlin Ford.

“When your hand touches that trigger and you can see it goes until you stop,” said East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore.

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Ford said there has been a significant increase in these devices in Louisiana.

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“We’ve seen multiple shootings in Baton Rouge and the New Orleans area,” Ford said.

“I want to say around 80 within the last year or two years,” Moore said recalling how many arrests he has seen in connection with these devices. “And oftentimes, I think ten or so are being held by juveniles.”

If caught with these illegal attachments, you could spend 10 years in federal prison. But Moore said many of the cases don’t make it to federal court.

“Because the federal government doesn’t take every case. We get those overwhelming majority of gun cases, they pick and choose what gun cases they want,” said Moore.

Moore said Louisiana legislation on machine guns has not kept up with the national trend and is not consistent with federal laws. He is proposing legislation that would carry a ten-year prison sentence if someone modifies their weapon.

“I know of no valid reason that anybody would want one of these devices on their weapon, in their weapon other than to do harm and destruction and to kill someone,” Moore said.

He said it would also prohibit anyone convicted with these modified guns to own a firearm when released.

“This has nothing to do with anti-gun sentiments it’s about safety from these weapons and the volume that we are seeing here,” Moore explained.

Moore said he is looking for a legislature to author the legislation and plans to introduce this proposal to the legislature when they are back in session in April.

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