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Law limiting plastic guns set to expire

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by ATCclears, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    WASHINGTON — In the movie “In the Line of Fire,” a deranged killer smuggles a homemade gun past the Secret Service and tries, unsuccessfully, to shoot the president.

    That situation might have seemed far-fetched when the film, which starred Clint Eastwood as the agent who dives in front of the assassin’s bullet, came out in 1993. But today, police officials and members of Congress fear that if a law known as the Undetectable Firearms Act is not renewed and updated when it expires on Dec. 9, firearms that can slip past metal detectors and X-ray machines will become a law enforcement problem across the country.

    It is not an idle concern: Homemade plastic guns are a reality, made possible by the proliferation of 3-D printing technology that was only getting started when the law was first passed by Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

    “They are so frightening because they render most standard detection useless,” said Tim Murphy, a former deputy director of the F.B.I.

    The expiring law bans guns that can pass unnoticed through a metal detector, and has been renewed twice in the 25 years since it was first enacted. But with the expiration date a little more than a week away, reauthorizing it has been caught up in a political standoff that has thwarted other recent attempts to enact gun safety legislation.

    “We’re on the clock, and as we know, this Congress doesn’t deal well with deadlines,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    For now, the extension is delayed as lawmakers fight over whether to simply extend the law or amend it to include new provisions aimed specifically at 3-D printed weapons.

    Shortly before the Senate broke for its Thanksgiving recess, it set aside a measure to extend the law for a year because of objections by Republicans. Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, said he was concerned not about extending the law as written but about senators who support gun safety measures using the law as a backdoor way of attaching more provisions when it expires again.

    “They’re considering altering it, putting more language in it,” Mr. Sessions said. “There’s concern that it may be altered in a way that would be problematic.”

    The House is expected to approve a 10-year extension of the law when it returns next week. Democrats, led by Representative Steve Israel of New York, want to include the 3-D-printed weapons provision, but Republicans have agreed only to consider renewing the law as it is now.

    “It’s hard to believe that anyone would oppose a piece of legislation like this, so tied into, so connected with our safety,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, one of the senators leading the effort to extend the law. “In a world of terrorism, to say that we would make legal guns that can pass through metal detectors so people can slip them through airports, stadiums, schools?”

    The National Rifle Association, whose position will carry significant weight with many in Congress, has not publicly signaled where it stands. A spokesman for the N.R.A. did not respond to several requests for comment.

    But Gun Owners of America, a smaller and more vocal gun rights group, said that both the extension of the current law and the new provisions would be unnecessary because 3-D printing technology was still so new and not widely available.

    “They’re not going to be in Kinkos,” said Larry Pratt, the group’s executive director. “And at the moment, they can’t fire that many rounds. It’s just not something that we’re going to be dealing with anytime soon.”

    Those who argue that these guns are not a true safety threat often point to the cost of 3-D printers, which can be as expensive as some automobiles. But as the technology becomes less expensive and accessible, concern is growing.

    To technically comply with the current law, manufacturers of 3-D-printed guns only have to make their firearms detectable to security screeners in some way, usually by including some form of metal, which can be nonfunctional and easily removable.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently assembled one such gun using designs downloaded from Defense Distributed, a group based in Texas that describes itself as dedicated to defending “the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”

    The bureau tested the gun and found it capable of firing multiple .380-caliber metal bullets. Federal authorities demanded the group remove the designs from its website.

    To close the loophole in the current law, the changes proposed by Democrats would require that an essential, nondetachable piece of the gun be made of enough metal to be picked up in a security screening.

    But some officials say the real challenge is to find a way to detect plastic weapons, and want more money devoted to that.

    “The law is not the story — someone that wants to do harm is not going to abide by the law,” said Mr. Murphy, the former F.B.I. official. “It may stop large-scale production, but won’t stop the lone wolf or adversary. Someone needs to be thinking bigger.”

    After attempts by terrorists to bring down airliners over the past decade, the government and security companies made some strides in detecting plastic explosives. But far less time and money were devoted to detecting plastic weapons, because they were not seen as a major threat.

    While body scanners are considered a reliable way to detect a weapon on a person’s body, they are expensive and difficult to transport and have raised concerns about privacy.

    “They’re so good they can see a credit card in your pocket,” said a senior law enforcement official who has overseen the use of such machines. “But people don’t like them. And people don’t like pat-downs.”
  2. Stomper

    Stomper Ungovernable! Become Ungovernable! Gold Supporter

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    That's because SANE people don't like tyranny.
  3. Rotty

    Rotty Skagit County Active Member

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    Have you been through an airport lately? Talk about getting violated by a bunch of uneducated arse groping gorilla's. If you so much as talk or joke about disliking the grope down they can take offense and have you removed.
  4. Stomper

    Stomper Ungovernable! Become Ungovernable! Gold Supporter

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    The last times I flew to Australia, and Vegas (almost 2yrs ago) I recall internally "smoldering". LAX is the WORST, PDX wasn't AS bad, Eugene AP I set off the explosives detector and they pulled me off for further focus on my hands... I passed, but afterwards I mentioned that I had very recently cleaned my Glock (earlier that morning) and asked just how sensitive were these machines? I got a dirty look in response... LOL!

    That reminds me, I haven't cleaned that Glock since... ;)
    BoonDocks36 and (deleted member) like this.
  5. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    So does that mean Glocks and alike if they add more fancy language?

    Some scary stuff. Lets hope they don't let those bastards pull any stunts.
  6. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    That law is just another in a long line of infringements on the 2nd Amendment
    BoonDocks36 and (deleted member) like this.
  7. SCARed

    SCARed Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    So let's see... They want new detectors to see these evil plastic guns. Whys that? The detectors they have now are so crappy they can't detect the METAL bullets needed to make it go bang?
  8. RoneKiln

    RoneKiln Western Washington Active Member

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    Because the uneducated think that glocks are all plastic. Because idiots think the lower receivers being made on 3D printers are an entire functioning firearm. Idiots think we're printing entire firearms, upper, barrel, and all; out of plastic.

    Idiots don't realize plastic guns aren't real. So they want to make laws banning them.

    The sane either ignore them and let them have their irrelevant law, or make a stand on principle against elected officials wasting resources on irrelevant laws. My preference tends to waver with my mood and what else is being argued over at the time.

    Maybe we could trade them their "undetectable firearm" law for a federal CPL. :)
  9. Both Eyes Open

    Both Eyes Open Hood Canal Active Member

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    And next they'll start printing plastic bullets and we'll all be screwed!!!
  10. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    and plastic primers and plastic powder.

    Plastic bullets and plastic cases already exist. The cases tended to get hot and melt, and plastic bullets aren't nearly as effective as metal rounds.

    And like the story mentioned - someone who is actually dead set on building a non-detectable weapon won't give a damn about the law. They'll build it and use it however they want. Until they ban private ownership of things like lathes, mills, dremel tools, welders, drills, saws, screw drivers and hammers - someone will be able to build a gun without government knowledge or approval.

    And even if they somehow ban you from building or owning a gun - God provides all that you'd need to build bow & arrows, swords, knives, axes, etc - using simple elements found in the woods (wood, leather, rocks, animal skin, bone) - they may take your guns, your bullets - but they can't stop you from making some sort of weapon - and if you can make a cutting or clubbing weapon, you have the ability to obtain a firearm if that is your true intent. The only way to keep someone from making a weapon, if the person is dedicated to doing it, is to kill them. Prisons prove this point - you can lock a man away in a tightly controlled concrete pen - but unless you lock him away naked and never give him anything, you can't keep him from making a weapon of some sort. Shivs and shanks are quite common and easily made by prisoners. Even a plastic spoon can become a weapon.
  11. Darknight

    Darknight Salem Active Member

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    Don't forget toilet paper as a weapon and escape device. Next thing you know they will outlaw sharman.
  12. Stomper

    Stomper Ungovernable! Become Ungovernable! Gold Supporter

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    Ya'll are forgetting the infamous teacup as used by muh man, Riddick! ;)