Oh wait… never mind, just a couple AR-15s and a 37mm flare launcher *facepalm*:
Source – KING5
Seattle Police said they recovered a grenade launcher and automatic weapons in their Thursday night raid of a house in Eastlake. Officers found two AR-15 assault rifles, one of which was equipped with a military style grenade launcher.
Blog reader Sean D. took it upon himself to deliver an email smackdown to reporter Jim Forman from KING5 news. Here it is:
I’ve already dinged the SPD officer quoted in the KOMO 4 News article over this, and you should have seen my twitter messages by now.
A Havoc Flare Launcher looks like this:
An M203 Grenade Launcher looks like this:
And an M320 (Derived from the German AG36 system) looks like this:
Allow me to direct your attention to the designs of the Havoc and the M203. Notice that the Havoc appears to be milled from solid metal, and has larger concave grooves. The trigger guard and assembly on the Havoc are much more cleaner, sharper and more aesthetically pleasing. The M203 appears to have been assembled from sheet metal stock, rather than milled. It has convex grips attached to a single tube, and the trigger assembly and guard are more cramped, and the assembly has a different shape compared to the box-like Havoc model.
The weapon shown in the photographs of your news article just has the tube itself removed. In the hands of a felon, that renders the “launcher” inoperable at best, and inaccurate as a drunken swallow at worst. The firing mechanisms are also vastly different. The M203 is being replaced by the M320 in the U.S. armed forces, and they are likely scrapping the M203 materiel in order to make it impossible for them to be procured in the civilian market. On top of that, since both GLs are 40mm, all ammunition is compatible with the M320 and the M203.
This means the U.S. Military is unlikely to ever sell any of the ammunition, even practice rounds, on the open market – especially when you consider the fact that our own soldiers are equipped with M320s, and are fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan in battlefields where there’s a lot of places that a normal rifle can’t shoot at. The ammunition is in constant demand over there. Let’s also not forget that it’s impossible for any serviceman or civilian to bring back to U.S. shores any live or practice ammunition for grenade launchers – the TSA will see to that.
And to reiterate my last message on twitter: What dumbass in the U.S. Military sells a functional grenade launcher?
The simple, short answer is: One who wants to get thrown into the brig. The military would know within weeks, if not days, when a launcher goes missing.
So overall, any and all news organizations that reported the facts of that Seattle raid without actually doing their research, have lost a great deal of credibility – along with the SPD. The fact that the SPD has ex-military in their ranks, and still can’t properly differentiate between a flare launcher and a grenade launcher, is just another nail to their credibility and trustworthiness. The whole DoJ fiasco isn’t helping their case either.
In fact, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the room when the felon and the seller met for the sale of this particular firearm. Chances are pretty good the felon thought he was getting the real deal.
And some commentary Sean also wrote for us:
To the best of my knowledge, the U.S. Military and the manufacturers of the M203 has never changed the outward appearance of the grenade launcher since 1969. Not even once. So the fact that the SPD has called this underslung Havoc 37mm a “Grenade Launcher” is idiotic and manipulative at worst, and a honest mistake on the part of their officers at best.
Those who have been following the news on the Seattle Police Department are aware that the department has been under review by the Department of Justice, and are presently undergoing some kind of reform – at least, that is my hope – in order to address the issues surrounding the department. Those issues are unrelated to this article in general, but it doesn’t help save them from the growing public perception that a sizable chunk of the SPD is suffering from some form of incompetence – be it professional, social, or simply lacking in common sense.
Then again, we all know that the ATF are also fairly zealous regarding firearms enforcement – it’s possible that someone from the ATF working with the SPD misidentified the flare launcher, and it was taken as fact from that point forward. Hilariously enough, the ATF does not classify flare launchers at all, while Grenade Launchers are Class III to the best of my knowledge.
Either way, it doesn’t excuse the mis-characterization of a perfectly street-legal product as a criminal weapon.
Additional comment from myself:
Someone made a quip on facebook that ENDO is now “anti-LEO”. And to that I say first of all “troll harder”… and second of all ENDO is “anti-not-doing-the-job-you’re-getting-paid-to-do-properly” I don’t care if you pump gas, or protect the mean streets… if you’re not interested in doing your job properly please quit and let someone take your place. If you think your taxes are well spent letting police raid homes and then accusing people (a felon apparently in this case) of having OMG ILLEGAL GRENADE LAUNCHERS then i’d have to disagree with you. How do we even know this guy was a felon? I honestly don’t even trust a single thing the media reports anymore.
This isn’t the first time a big deal has been made of a flare launcher. Some of you might remember the ABC news debacle, where they said they could just go online and buy a grenade launcher like it was no big deal. Of course they were wrong, and blew everything out of proportion as usual.
Hat tip: Sean