ATF Seizes 'Machine-Gun Pistols'...Oh, and a Grenade Launcher

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The stated purpose of gun control is to deny firearms to those who would use them maliciously. Of course, in practice, this is something else entirely. Especially since literally every gun control effort any of us have seen in our lifetimes revolves around restricting what law-abiding citizens can do. 


Criminals have this annoying proclivity to get firearms regardless of the laws that restrict you and me.

Take the whole full-auto-switch thing that has gotten a lot of attention in the media. I can't legally have one of those because a 90-year-old law said I had to jump through hoops and a nearly 40-year-old law says that only applies to guns made before that particular law passed.

And don't even get me started on things like grenade launchers.

But apparently, bad guys can just get anything they want.

Two men are in police custody for allegedly trying to sell a cache of high-powered firearms to an undercover federal agent in Laredo, Texas, this week.


The buyer inspected the guns, which included a Diamondback Firearms DB-15 pistols, two Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 pistols, a Pioneer Arms Hellpup 7.62 mm pistol and a 37 mm grenade launcher. The customer, who was really an undercover Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, allegedly verified the pistols were equipped with a drop-in auto-sear for continuous firing.

While Berlanga was counting the $10,000 he received from the agent, a tactical team from the Laredo Police Department assisted by the ATF and the Border Patrol moved in. Team members seized the guns, verified they had the auto-sears and conducted tests finding they functioned like a machine gun, court records show.


Berlanga was getting $10,000 but his buddy was reportedly getting a whopping $100 for helping move the weapons.

So we have three illegally modified AR pistols and one illegally modified AK pistol. And let's not forget about the grenade launcher.

Of course, in fairness, the grenade launcher actually isn't the problem. There didn't seem to be any grenades included in the deal, and those are the NFA items, not the launcher itself.

But boy will that rattle some cages among those who don't know any better, won't it?

Yet then again, these guys had four NFA items already. I can't guarantee they couldn't get their hands on some despite everything else and neither can anyone else.

They didn't obtain these things legally.

Oh, they might have initially bought the base pistols through a lawful dealer, but then they modified them. That's a federal crime, which is why the ATF was involved in this in the first place.

Should they be illegal? I don't think so.

Then again, were they legal, there's no way these would have been worth $100,000. No one would pay that for them because the Law of Supply and Demand would drive the price down and you wouldn't have to pay that much.

See, the restrictions on these items create the scarcity that makes illegal gun sales like this profitable. It lays the groundwork for the crimes that follow not by cracking down on anything, but by making damn sure law-abiding citizens aren't a market and law-abiding dealers aren't able to meet the demand.


And here's the thing, we don't know how many times this guy has done this. 

It could be his first rodeo, but I doubt it. My guess is that law enforcement got clued into him based on previous sales, which means God only knows how many full-auto AR or AK pistols are floating around out there.

Meanwhile, President Biden doesn't want me to have more than 10 rounds at a time.

Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.

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