New York Senator Introduces Ban on 'Convertible' Pistols

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Many of the most popular handguns in the country could soon be illegal to sell in New York, after state Sen. Sen. Zellnor Myrie introduced a bill banning the manufacture and sale of "convertible pistols." 


The bill was drafted with the help of Everytown, according to the Wall St. Journal, and it's highly unlikely that New York will be the only state where the gun control lobby starts pushing for a semi-auto ban. 

Myrie said the legislation doesn’t name Glock, but he wrote the bill to address Glock pistols because they are easily convertible for machine gun-like fire. The converted guns increasingly have been used in crimes, he said.

It's already illegal under federal law to possess an auto-sear or machine gun conversion device, but with law enforcement around the country reporting a growing number of firearm recoveries where an auto-sear was attached, gun control groups like Everytown see this as an opportunity to go after the firearms and not just the illegal aftermarket accessory. 

Despite Myrie's contention that other semi-automatic firearms not produced by Glock can't be illegally converted to full-auto, the truth is the the vast majority of semi-automatic firearms can be converted into machine guns, so long as someone's willing to put in the time and effort... as well as violate the law. It's probably more fair to describe Myrie's bill as a ban on most semi-automatic pistols. It's also a little surprising that he didn't choose to target all semi-automatic firearms, given that the gun control lobby has quietly been arguing for several years that most semi-automatics should be treated like they're machine guns because of their convertability. 


In 2022, the gun control group Brady filed a lawsuit on behalf of several victims and family members of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in Gilroy, California in 2019. As we reported at the time, the suit names Century Arms and Romanian gun maker ROMARM, and alleges (among other things) that the WASR-10 rifle made by Century Arms that was used in the attack on the festival constitutes a “machine gun” under federal law, even though it’s a semi-automatic firearm that discharges one bullet with every pull of the trigger. According to Brady, the rifle “constitutes” a machine gun because “it possess[es] design features which facilitate full automatic fire by a simple modification or elimination of existing component parts.”

Brady's tactic is slightly different than the legislation drafted by Everytown, but the end goal is still the same: to get around the Supreme Court's decision in Heller and enact a ban on the sale of the most common and popular firearms in the United States. Once they're no longer allowed to be sold, the next step is to prohibit their possession. 

Everytown is also overseeing the city of Chicago's lawsuit against Glock, and is actively recruiting Democrat attorneys general to pursue their own litigation. I suspect Everytown, Brady, Giffords, and other gun control groups are also leaning on the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to get the ATF to reclassify many models of semi-automatics as "machine guns", though Biden's handlers may want to wait until after the election to tell tens of millions of Americans that the gun they lawfully purchased is illegal for them to possess. 


The White House has some plausible deniability about its involvement in the push to ban Glocks and other semi-automatic handguns, so long as these efforts are coming from state and local officials and the gun control lobby itself. But if Biden wins another four years, I expect one of his first moves in a second term would be against semi-autos. The gun control lobby is already laying the groundwork for a ban, and Myrie's bill is another big step in that direction.  

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