Federal law enforcement authorities today sounded the alarm about the increased seizure of illegal firearms in Hawaii and the growing use of devices that convert semi-automatic handguns into weapons akin to machine guns, capable of shooting about 1,000 rounds per minute.
With about three months left in the federal fiscal year, Kenji Price, U.S. attorney in Hawaii, told reporters that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has seized over 130 illegal firearms in the islands.
In the prior fiscal year, the agency seized 38.
Price also raised concerns about federal authorities seeing more Glock converters in investigations in Hawaii.
Such converters – not much larger in width than a dime — can convert a semi-automatic handgun into a fully automatic weapon, according to Price and Aaron Joseph, ATF’s resident in charge in Hawaii.
Those devices are being imported to Hawaii, but Price wouldn’t specify how.
The officials held a news conference to highlight the cooperation of federal and local law enforcement agencies in combating illegal firearm and drug use.
Price cited a Maui case in which four suspects last week were indicted for firearm charges and resulted in the seizure of 17 weapons.