Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and a group of Democrats have proposed the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act, legislation that would require all guns to contain enough metal to be detected by metal detectors and X-Ray machines at checkpoints and airports. The legislation is aimed squarely at 3D printed guns like the so-called Liberator.
The legislation would require that all guns, plastic or otherwise, contain a non-removable strip of metal which would be illegal to remove. The legislation was first proposed in 2013 and failed to pass but given recent TSA lapses, including the discovery of 73 TSA agents with “ties to terrorism,” it’s clear that the legislation could get a bit more attention.
The files for the 3D-printed Liberator are no longer available from their original source, Defense Distributed, but there are plenty of sources where hobbyists can find and build 3D printed guns. This legislation, while noble in theory, is ridiculous in practice except in the case of legitimate users who which to stick to the letter of the law when creating 3D printed guns. Given that the law will require a voluntary modification to these plastic guns, legislation will probably do little to dissuade the nefarious from trying to get guns through checkpoints. It is, however, a start.