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Gov. Holcomb signs bill outlawing 'switch' devices that turn handguns into machine guns

Posted at 12:14 PM, Apr 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-20 13:16:31-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Thursday signed a bill outlawing small devices that turn handguns or rifles into fully automatic weapons.

They are called switches, auto-sears or machine gun conversion devices and can be made cheaply on a 3d printer. A gun fitted with one of these devices can spray dozens of rounds in seconds with a single pull of the trigger.

Law enforcement officials say switches have been turning up more frequently in crimes in Indianapolis and across the state.

Glock switch Auto sear
The small device attached to the rear slide of this handgun transforms it into a fully automatic weapon. This gun modified with an auto-sear or "Glock switch" device was seized from a suspect in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Chris Bailey expressed thanks to the governor and lawmakers for passing this bill.

"There's no doubt that this is another tool for law enforcement and prosecutors throughout the state to keep Hoosiers safe," Bailey said.

The new law took effect as soon as it was signed by Holcomb.

Under it, guns modified with an auto-sear are outlawed just like other machine guns. Possessing a firearm with a switch is a level 5 felony, which carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison if convicted.

AR-style pistol.jpg
This handgun is modified with an auto sear, stock and other accessories to mimic a fully automatic AR-15 style rifle. This weapon was seized from a suspect in Indianapolis.

More: Law enforcement and lawmakers target 3D-printed devices that turn handguns into machine guns

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on Twitter: @vicryc.