Congress to Extend Plastic Gun Ban

by Christopher Freeburn | December 9, 2013 11:10 am

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on Monday to extend a decade-old ban on plastic firearms[1].

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Source: Flickr[3]

The move will prohibit the production of guns that can pass through metal detectors and screening equipment without raising an alert for another ten years. Under current law, gun makers can produce plastic guns as long as they feature a metal component that can be detected by screening machines. Some gun control advocates complain that the part can be too easily removed, the Associated Press notes.

However, any effort to impose additional restrictions on plastic firearms will face opposition from the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), which has signaled that it won’t oppose the extension — so long as the law remains as already written. The ban’s renewal comes as 3D printer technology from manufacturers like Stratasys (SYSS[4]), 3D Systems (DDD[5]) and Voxeljet (VJET[6]) is moving toward becoming mainstream.

That is viewed another setback for advocates of tighter gun laws. After the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, gun control proponents thought they had enough political momentum to overcome NRA resistance. But gun control efforts in Congress and in the states have faltered under fire from Second Amendment advocates.

Today’s vote will mark the second renewal of the prohibition on plastic guns, which was original passed in 1988.

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  1. to extend a decade-old ban on plastic firearms:
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