WASHINGTON — With the advent of 3-D printers capable of producing plastic weapons, the House voted Tuesday to renew a 25-year-old prohibition against firearms that can evade metal detectors and X-ray machines.
A bipartisan bill extending the Undetectable Firearms Act was passed on a voice vote, a first for gun legislation since last year’s massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.
The Senate is expected to act on the legislation when it returns from a two-week Thanksgiving recess next Monday, a day before the current law expires.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he and others will try then to add a new requirement that at least one component of the firing mechanism contain enough metal to be detectable in a magnetometer and also be undetachable.
But with the National Rifle Association opposed to any change in the statute and many Democrats eager to avoid a new fight over gun controls going into an election year, the Senate is more likely to just pass the House version unamended.
The House bill only requires that a plastic gun have some piece of metal in or on it, but it can be removable and doesn’t have to be used to fire the weapon.
“The House bill is better than nothing, but not by much,” Schumer said Tuesday. “...It’s certainly not enough.”
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