Sterling, Virginia - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers from Washington Dulles International Airport seized 240 blank firing pistols on Friday that could easily be converted into handguns.
CBP officers initially inspected the shipment on April 29 after it arrived in air cargo from Turkey. The shipment was manifested as “sporting blank gun” and consisted of 620 suspect blank firing guns of various models. Officers detained the shipment and consulted with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF regulates the importation of firearms.
Based on a previous test, ATF agents determined that the 240 Zoraki model M2906 pistols could be converted into a firearm. According to 18 USC 921(a)(3), a firearm is considered to be any weapon, including a starter pistol, which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
CBP officers seized the 240 Zoraki pistols for violating U.S. import laws, and released the remaining 380 blank firing guns. The seized pistols were appraised at more than $19,000 and were destined to an address in Bensalem, Pa.
“Many communities continue to suffer under the siege of violent crimes often committed by armed and dangerous people, so keeping this shipment of easily converted firearms out of the hands of criminals is one way in which Customs and Border Protection can protect our families, friends and neighbors and help make our streets safer,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.