Homemade Machine Gun Maker Indicted

Photo: Ford, Brad

An indictment was unsealed in federal court Wednesday charging a local man with illegally possessing two firearms converted into fully-automatic machine guns and a silencer.

Joshua Allen Lampe, 35, a Eugene resident, has been charged with unlawfully possessing two machine guns and a silencer. The National Firearms Act makes it illegal to possess and transfer certain firearms, including machine guns and silencers, without proper registration.

According to court documents, in an August 2022 search of Lampe’s Eugene residence, investigators located and seized dozens of firearms, knives, ammunition, firearm accessories and parts, scopes, laser sights, packaging materials, tactical gear, and other types of armaments.

In December 2022, investigators sought and obtained a warrant to search Lampe’s home for a second time in just four months. They discovered Lampe had quickly amassed hand tools, a rifle, firearm parts, machine gun switches, a 3D printer used to make switches, several ghost guns, a silencer, and packaging materials as well as methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl pills.

Analysis and testing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) later confirmed two pistols seized from Lampe’s residence were operative machine guns having been converted with switches. An analysis also confirmed the silencer seized was an operative device. 

Machine gun switches, sometimes referred to as “Glock switches,” are small attachments used to convert firearms from semi-automatic to fully-automatic.

Lampe made his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and released on conditions pending a jury trial scheduled to begin on September 5, 2023.

Illegally possessing a machine gun and a silencer are punishable by up to ten years in federal prison per count of conviction.

This case was investigated by ATF and the Eugene Police Department with assistance from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by the William M. McLaren, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Source: U.S. Attorney for Oregon

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