For Immediate Release
Wichita Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Machinegun
A Wichita Falls man pleaded guilty today to possessing devices that convert semi-automatic weapons into machineguns, announced Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
Paul David Shaw Jr., 30, was charged via criminal complaint in May and indicted in July. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm.
According to plea papers, Mr. Shaw admitted that he used Snapchat to advertise the sale of Glock “switches.” Also known as “auto sears,” switches are small, easy-install devices designed to convert semi-automatic pistols into fully automatic firearms, classified under federal law as machineguns.
A federal agent, acting in an undercover capacity, purchased two Glock switches from Mr. Shaw for $600 each. Investigators test-fired the Glock switches, and confirmed that they functioned as designed, causing the gun to fire more than one round of ammunition with a single depression of the trigger.
Law enforcement also conducted a search of a commercial building Mr. Shaw used, where they found several additional switches.
“Switches allow criminals to fire off multiple rounds with a single squeeze of a trigger,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “Unfortunately, we’re seeing an influx of switches on our streets, where they are inflicting serious harm. ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to keeping our communities safe by keeping these dangerous items out of the wrong hands.”
“Someone selling tools that make firearms fully automatic is one of law enforcement’s greatest fears. Automatic weapons in the hands of those aiming to cause harm is what keeps cops up at night. The fact that Mr. Shaw was selling these on social media should cause us all grave concern. I applaud the efforts of all of those involved in the arrest of this reckless individual,” stated ATF Dallas Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II.
Mr. Shaw now faces a maximum of ten years in prison, as well as possible fines.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation with assistance from the Wichita Falls Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Boudreau prosecuted the case.