WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to reports that technology now allows people with 3-D printers to manufacture plastic guns, the Senate tonight passed legislation to ban plastic firearms.
The legislation, sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), bans the possession, use or manufacturing of any weapon that cannot be recognized by a metal detector or X-ray machine.
An existing prohibition on such weapons was set to expire at midnight Monday.
“Weapons like this pose a threat to our security and personal safety,” Nelson said. “We’ve got to keep them off our streets and out the hands of those who would do us harm.
The measure was passed without a vote by agreement of Senate leadership. It was passed by the House last week and now goes to the president for his signature. It keeps the ban on plastic weapons in place for at least ten more years.
With advances in new technology, someone with a sophisticated 3-D printer could produce a fully-functioning plastic firearm that could be slipped through metal detectors without sounding any alarm.
Law enforcement, fearing the smuggling of weapons through airport security and other sensitive areas, has called for a reauthorization of what is known as the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.