The most unproductive Congress in history could not manage to update a ban on plastic guns for the era of 3D printed weapons. Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to extend the Undetectable Firearms Act but didn’t amend the law to require permanent metal inserts.
As the law stands, gun manufactures abide by an honors system that they will promise to keep enough metal in a weapon to set off alarms.
“The House bill is better than nothing, but it’s not good enough,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer. “We absolutely must close the loophole that allows anyone to legally make a gun that could be rendered invisible by the easy removal of its metal part. Under current law, it is legal to make a plastic gun so long as it has some metal in it, even if it is easily removable. The bill we’ll try to pass in the Senate would fix that.”
3D weapons burst onto the scene last year when a libertarian-happy gun-enthusiast produced and distributed blueprints for the first lethal homemade plastic firearm.
Since that time, both the Federal government and New Zealand party monster/pirated software mogul, Kim Dotcom, banned the distribution of the blueprints.
It’s difficult to know how much the law can stop blueprints that require a permanent metal insert. Even after the bans, the software was still widely available on the Internet.
Republicans also blame Democrats for failing to cooperate on a longer-term extension of the law. “The (Democratic) majority is playing politics with public safety,” said Republican Chuck Grassley. (For those paying attention, this bill is Chuck v. Chuck.)
The bill is now off to the Senate.