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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Reward Notice

Contact: Whitney Cruse
For Immediate Release
Monday, November 15, 2021

MPD Partners With ATF to Offer Additional $5K Reward for Information on Illegal Firearms

(Washington, DC) —The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division to combat violence by targeting illegal firearms in the District of Columbia. In an effort to incentivize community members to assist law enforcement, the ATF is offering an additional reward of up to $5,000 for the arrest of individuals possessing or trafficking specific illegal firearms. These firearms include Privately Made Firearms (PMF) or “Ghost Guns” and/or Handgun Conversion Devices, commonly referred to as “Auto Sears” or “Glock Switches.”

A Handgun Conversion Device is a part, or combination of parts, designed and intended for use in converting a semi-automatic handgun pistol into an automatic firearm. This year, at least 42 “Glock Switches” have been recovered in the District. Further, there have been approximately 150 reported incidents of automatic gunfire in the District, to include homicides and non-fatal shootings.

PMFs are not made by firearm manufacturers; instead, the manufacture will sell individual buyers the parts, and the buyer uses various drilling tools to construct and assemble the parts into a functional firearm. PMFs are also known as “Ghost Guns” because they are not serialized, and are thus, untraceable. There have been an increasing amount of PMF recoveries in Washington, D.C. in 2021.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $2,500 to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of an illegal firearm in the District of Columbia. This partnership with ATF will increase the total of up to $7,500. The additional reward amount is being offered through the remainder of the 2021 calendar year.

“In order to protect the safety and well-being of all District residents and visitors, we need to interrupt the illegal market of firearms. We all have a responsibility to prevent, interrupt and prosecute gun violence to make our communities safer. Our partnership with the ATF demonstrates the severity of the issue, and highlights the urgency of combating this community threat.” – MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III.

The increasing presence and recovery of illegal firearms in the District presents a troubling trend that continues to have a negative impact on our community. Guns that are constructed piece by piece are untraceable, unregulated and often tied to violent crimes. The selling and buying of illegal guns is an attempt for individuals to avoid our lawful gun registration system.

“The people who illegally possess Handgun Conversion Devices and illegally manufacture for distribution Privately Made Firearms are destroying our neighborhoods and taking people away from their family too soon. At ATF, we are taking a stand to demonstrate this must end and will not be tolerated in our communities,” said ATF Washington Field Division Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson.

MPD and ATF will continue to collaborate with our federal partners to disrupt the cycle of criminal acquisition and the deliberate misuse of firearms. We enlist the help of all community members and leaders to provide any information that will assist us in locating these illegal firearms so that we can save lives and hold individuals accountable for their actions.

Anyone who has information regarding gun recoveries should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information can be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. Tips can be submitted anonymously.

Below are photographs of Handgun Conversion Devices (“switches”/ “auto sears”):

Photographs of Handgun Conversion Devices

Below are photographs of Privately Made Firearms (PMF)/ (“ghost guns”):

Photographs of Privately Made Firearms
Photographs of Privately Made Firearms

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