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SPD promotes ‘Ditch the Switch’ campaign

By Madison Beam

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    SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KTBS) — Glock switches can turn a legal handgun into an illegal fully automatic weapon. Shreveport police are rolling out a campaign called “Ditch the Switch” to put a stop to it. Police want to bring awareness to the rise in the availability of kits that turn weapons, especially handguns. fully automatic. That’s what police are increasingly facing on the streets these days: the ability of the bad guys to fire dozens of rounds in a matter of seconds. “In 2021, we began to see an uptick in weapons that had been altered to become fully automatic and we have continued to see a growth in trend of fully automatic weapons,” said Shreveport police Cpl. Chris Bordelon. The campaign is a partnership between SPD and their federal partner agencies, including the US Attorney’s Office. “What they really want to drive home to our community is that we’re taking these switches on these Glocks and these firearms that have been altered to become fully automatic. We’re taking it very seriously and these cases are going to be prosecuted a felony,” said Bordelon. Bordelon says they are looking at having more of those cases prosecuted federally, giving criminals a more severe punishment for those crimes. “Under federal law, this device is considered a machine gun and simply possessing one can carry harsh penalties up to ten years in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon Brown of the Western District of Louisiana. Bordelon says this campaign will also help the prosecuting of cases in Caddo. “What it does is it’s actually going to ease the burden on some of the cases here in Caddo Parish and allow us the opportunity to prosecute. Some in the federal courts are giving us more time to prosecute more cases in Caddo, as well as harsher time for the more egregious cases of machine guns,” said Bordelon. To report switches and other related crimes call 1-800-ATF-TIPS or 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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