House's Plastic-Gun Ban Has a Dangerous Loophole

It doesn't take into account 3D technology: Eleanor Clift
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2013 12:53 PM CST
House's Plastic-Gun Ban Has a Dangerous Loophole
Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., worked with Rep. Howard Coble, R-NC, to get the gun legislation through the House.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

The good news is that the House yesterday passed in bipartisan fashion a 10-year extension of a law that requires guns to include metal parts, writes Eleanor Clift at the Daily Beast. In theory, then, the measure makes it a lot tougher to smuggle weapons through the metal detectors of, say, an airport or courtroom. The bad news, though, is that the original law is antiquated and fails to take into account advances in 3D technology that make it possible to print an all-plastic gun. Yes, the law requires metal parts, but it has a loophole: It doesn't require that those parts to be permanently attached to the gun.

"Someone could easily insert a small metal pin to align with the law, remove it as necessary to pass through security, and still have a fully functioning weapon to carry onto a plane," writes Clift. The measure now moves to the Senate, where Chuck Schumer wants to close that loophole. But he's up against time—the original law expires Monday—and the political logistics of gun-control politics. It seems most likely that the Senate only will be able to pass the House extension as-is. "It would be nice if laws could keep up with the times, but leaving well enough alone may well be the price of victory on guns for this Congress," writes Clift. Click for her full column. (Read more 3D guns stories.)

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