No moves in Congress on 3-D gun ban renewal

by Jeffrey Anderson-The Washington Times  |  published on November 14, 2013

A federal law banning firearms that cannot be detected by walk-through metal detectors expires in less than a month, but Congress has yet to act despite the rise of new technologies that can produce “3-D” plastic guns.

A bill introduced this summer by Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida has shown no sign of moving toward passage, and the status of a House bill that revamps the Undetectable Firearms Act is unclear.

Meantime, government sources say that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, is preparing to introduce a bill without a contentious provision in the Schumer-Nelson bill that bans plastic magazines. A committee spokeswoman declined to comment.

Officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Wednesday that they have been asked to brief members of Congress on the evolving technology of homemade firearms, made with parts from high-tech industrial printers, but they declined to identify specific lawmakers or comment on their input.

“ATF is trying to educate the public [about 3-D plastic guns],” said Earl Griffith, chief of the Firearms Technology Branch. “If the current law expires, it would become legal to possess undetectable firearms just like any other handgun.”

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