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Undetectable Gun Ban Renewal Passes House, But Dems Want Metal-Part ‘Loophole’ Closed

Bill would require that key parts of guns be made of detectable and non-removable metal and magazines fall within guidelines.

by
Bridget Johnson

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December 3, 2013 - 6:37 pm
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WASHINGTON — The House quietly passed a 10-year extension of the current law banning undetectable guns on a voice vote with just a handful of lawmakers on the floor today.

But some Democrats protested that the ban will need to be even broader to require metal parts that cannot be removed in plastic guns to ensure they can’t slip through a “loophole” and slip through airport security.

The current law, which passed in 1988, bans guns that can’t be spotted by metal detectors. With its provisions about to sunset on Dec. 9, Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) pulled together an extension bill to cover guns that can’t be spotted on airport imaging technology.

“This ban on undetectable weapons has been in effect since 1988,” said Coble, 82, who is retiring next year. “And from all indications, the law is working well. This law has a sunset clause and has been reauthorized two previous times. If we do not extend this law again, the ban will expire on December 9, 2013. I hope the Senate will expedite this bill when it returns to work next week.”

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) tried to push a reauthorization on their way out the door for the Thanksgiving break, but Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) blocked their attempt as the last GOP on the floor.

Schumer and Blumenthal argued that reauthorization is needed quickly because of the rapid development of technology in which a 3-D printer can be used to piece together a plastic gun.

“Nothing about this simple and common-sense legislation requires even a moment’s delay or debate,” Blumenthal said.

“Hidden, undetectable firearms serve no purpose other than to make it easier for criminals to take lives. That is why both houses of Congress unanimously approved reauthorization of the law in 2003,” he said. “Delaying these protections simply puts innocent American lives at risk. We need to stop playing politics with public safety and extend these protections immediately.”

While acknowledging that the bill would likely eventually pass, Sessions told Schumer “this is not a good day” for the legislation. The Dem sponsors tried to bring up the reauthorization just after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dropped the nuclear option to push through President Obama’s nominees.

The original law makes it illegal to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm that is not as detectable by walk-through metal detection, or any firearm with major components that do not generate an accurate image before standard airport imaging technology.

“The fact that today’s reauthorization passed by voice vote proves that there is overwhelming bipartisan support for this law,” Coble said. “While we have heard that some want to amend the bill when it arrives in the Senate, I urge our colleagues on the other side of Capitol Hill to quickly enact a clean 10-year reauthorization so that this ban on undetectable weapons will not expire.”

Those enhancements, though, came from the House as well with a Republican other than Coble on board.

Israel introduced his Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act with Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), which would require that certain major components of plastic firearms are made of non-removable detectable metal.

Israel said today he was a lead co-sponsor on the reauthorization with Coble “because I believe it is an essential first step in keeping Americans safe from the threat of plastic guns.”

“However, I don’t believe a straight reauthorization of the current law goes far enough, which is why today I introduced legislation that would close a dangerous loophole that exists in the current law by requiring plastic guns to be made with certain non-removable metal parts so they can be detected by metal detectors,” he added.

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Top Rated Comments   
"any ammunition magazine... after removal of the spring and follower..."

In other words, after removing the parts that make it a magazine rather than a funny-shaped piece of plastic?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Hidden, undetectable firearms serve no purpose other than to make it easier for criminals to take lives." -Blumenthal

So when law enforcement officers uses plastic handguns undercover, they intend to use them for criminal acts? I think not.

And if only criminals use undetectable guns, surely a law will stop the law breakers from breaking laws... ?

These Congressmen are putting far too much trust in metal detectors to keep them safe.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (27)
All Comments   (27)
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The only issue here is "CONTROL". There is no precedent for gun control. The only precedent that exists is the Second Amendment which clearly states that: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

What do the Founders mean? My interpretation of the plain English in the second amendment is this. The Founders stated that each male between the ages of 16 and 60 has the obligation, in order to serve as a member of a locally formed militia group, to obtain, maintain, learn to use and obtain and keep ammunition on hand for use in their arms, whatever form they may have chosen for their arms. Then, the Founders, in order for the capability for a community to assemble its militia like group on short notice and have it be fully armed and ready upon assembly, included "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." You will notice that they used the word "shall" which is the way a definite statement is made to which there are no exceptions or conditions permitted.

That means that unless we "The People" approve of an amendment to our second amendment, no amendment is allowed by interpretation or otherwise. Restriction of those rights is a form of infringement and is not permitted by the Constitution.

So, in my opinion, the President, Congress, EPS, DHS, the Supreme Court, no-one and/or no entity has the constitutional authority to change the intent or meaning of the second amendment or any other part of the Constitution by law or by regulation or any other product of government.

We the People, in order to remain in control of our Republic, and to retain our freedom and liberty as provided by the Founders, had better pay a whole lot of attention to everything that our government does or proposes to do. We are each responsible for doing all that we can to see to it that our central government remains small and efficient and that the States retain the largest part of governmental functions. No-one else is responsible - we are fully responsible and we must perform responsibly to keep those we elect in line.

The quickest and most efficient way to accomplish this is to insure that none of them is allowed to serve more than one term. This will prevent the cronyism you see in Washington right now. No-one would be in office long enough to form coercive relationships with special interests that diminish the power of the People in favor of those special interests and the temptations they represent.

DO NOT REELECT/ELECT ANYONE except proven Constitutional Conservatives who are protecting the Constitution as they swore they would do when they took their oaths of office. GOT IT!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course I don't want criminals and terrorists running around with any guns, detectable or not. My point is that this law only insures that those who may want to legally protect and defend themselves or others are unable to use these weapons to do so.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
They clearly do not fear us ENOUGH. The day is coming when THEY will be the targets, instead of us.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank god the progressives have saved us from fictional evils and "cop killer bullets," plastic guns, Black Talon bullets, Y2K, and global warming. Otherwise we'd all be dead.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Modern 3-D printing is not limited to polymers.
If you've got the money of Jay Leno, you can get a printer that works in sintered metals.
Of course, that is not "undetectable" (and no functioning firearm is), but it is something you can manufacture yourself, and probably use more than once.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Schumer threatens to "enhance" the current re-authorization bill to make it more relevant to today's world.
What he will do is ensure that when the amended bill returns to the House for concurrence, it will be pigeon-holed, and die; and he'll have nothing.
And deservedly so.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The saddest part is not the law. The saddest part is that the genie is out of the bottle and can never be put back in. The saddest part is that the law doesn't matter. If it mattered, Chicago would be murder free from gun shot killings! If it mattered Obama wouldn't be able to arbitrarily change law like he changes his sox. If only government was similarly focused on waste and fraud within its midst, and in the various departments, IRS, EPA, HUD, HHS, SEC, etc, etc. One can only wish, and drop the hammer in 2014 at the booth!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone else annoyed that while they are chasing one specific scenario, it essentially creates a ban on innovation of new materials and techniques.

Same thing with Obamacare..... the government take over of health insurance prevents new ideas and innovations for efficient use of those dollars to ever come to the market place because they won't conform to the existing law.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"any ammunition magazine... after removal of the spring and follower..."

In other words, after removing the parts that make it a magazine rather than a funny-shaped piece of plastic?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bearing in mind that after removing the steel spring and follower, that magazine is completely non-functional anyway.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe they are thinking of the old gravity magazine Gatling guns had in the 1800s.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Shh - don't give them any ideas!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's sad that a congress critter from my state would push this.

I remember when this law was first passed. It was a blatant attempt to ban the Glock pistol which was just becoming very popular in this country. The original attempts would have banned any gun with plastic frames and frozen firearms development at 1970s level of technology.

If you've ever tried concealed carry or have carried a gun on a daily basis, you understand how a non-steel framed gun that is lighter but still powerful enough to do the job is a desirable feature.

The law in question was an attempt to ban the Glock by listing the features that made it unique at the time - but fortunately it was mitigated enough that the Glock did not end up being banned.

With the improvements in 3D printing, they are now trying to use this law as a vehicle for banning hundreds of thousands of actual weapons spread across dozens of model lines, as opposed to banning weapons that didn't even exist when the law was written.

Schumer trying to expand this law is simply another attempt at banning polymer framed weapons (of which the Glock was only the first)- which are currently the most popular and most affordable weapons available to the general public for concealed carry.

The 3D printing equipment that can actually make such a weapon is crude and prohibitively expensive, and your average citizen won't avail themselves of this technology.

Your average terrorist group or radical terrorist sponsoring government, on the other hand, has both the means and the incentive to do just that very thing.

In short, this law is aimed at US citizens while the real threat are governments and terrorists who don't give a damn about US law in the first place. It bans weapons that are still non-existent (at least as far as we in the general public know), and therfore in the end it is a feel good law that accomplishes nothing, nothing that actually exists, but does provide a vehicle for the likes of Schumer to try to track on additional measures that would infringe on 2nd amendment rights.

It should have been allowed to sunset.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If you've ever tried concealed carry or have carried a gun on a daily basis, you understand how a non-steel framed gun that is lighter but still powerful enough to do the job is a desirable feature."

Modern gun owners are pussies. While our fathers and grandfathers humped an 9lb M-1 and a 40lb pack around Europe and the Pacific we now find it difficult to carry a 2.5lb 1911 around town. As someone who does that on a regular basis I can tell you that it is no big deal for a modern urbanite to carry a traditional steel framed automatic. A 1911 or a Browning Hi Power, for those who want a 9mm, is concealable and not to heavy to carry. These two pistols also print less than a Squared off Glock or similar pistol because of their thinner profile and rounded edges If you carry a a 9mm the Hi Power is easier to shoot than a Glock or similar modern polymer because its felt recoil is barely more than a 22.

So if the reason you use a Glock is because weight man up and get a steel framed pistol. It doubles as bludgeon as well.


46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
My little polymer 9mm can hide in my smallest summer short pants without being seen.

I prefer winter for concealed carry. The bulky clothes allow me to easily hide a full size 1911.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you carry regularly you have to make compromises in dress. You want to carry the most effective weapon you can. Are there circumstances where I can't carry either my 1911 or Hi Power? Sure, that's why we own a Nano but as a general rule I rather have a full sized pistol.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a 225lb man I have no issue with the weight of a conceal carry weapon...but what about my little 140lb wife? Should she have to sacrifice stopping power and carry a .32 revolver just to have it be light enough when a polymer-framed 9mm or .45 is the same weight? NO!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
My 140 lb wife "lugs around" an M-9 and it doesn't seem to bother her.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
No need to "man up" as this old country boy already owns and has concealed carried a full size 1911 in .45ACP.

Don't know why you bring up the Garand though. I thoroughly enjoy the one I own but I don't walk the streets carrying it nor do I think anyone will agree it's appropriate for concealed carry.

The problem is that the 1911 is not as easy to conceal as you claim - at least for me living in a warm climate. During the winter, not so much an issue...

It also tends to drag my pants South due to the sheer weight of the hunk of steel. A shoulder rig would be easier - but that's not a very good option for me personally because during warm weather I don't wear a jacket to hide it under. It's got to fit under my shirt at my waistband, and the barrel of the 1911 is constantly in need of adjustment to keep it hidden.

This same opinion regarding concealability of the 1911 has been expressed by a lot of knowledgeable gun owners that I know personally, so it ain't just me.

A bobbed off 1911 would be nice, but I personally don't have the extra cash laying around for one right now.

Anyway, for warmer times of the year I've settled on a S&W Model 642 in .38 Special loaded up with Gold Dot +P ammo. Usually have 2 speed loaders in the vehicle as well. During cooler times and when wearing a jacket, the 1911 is more comforting.

An added advantage of the revolver is you can shove it right into a body and pull the trigger and as long as the hammer is of the concealed or shrouded type it will go bang every time.

Even the (rightfully) vaunted 1911 can't do that as the disconnector takes it out of battery the moment the barrel/slide shift backwards from the force of shoving into someone's gut at conversation distance.

Regardless, the gun you have with you is better than the one you leave in the gun safe because you can't functionally conceal it, and there are law enforcement types around who will give you grief if it prints even though NC is an open carry state and a lot of us have concealed carry permits on top of that.

I would also disagree that a Glock prints easier. The full size ones, sure. But the ones made specifically for concealed carry are bobbed off in length and height and are quite concealable, not being that much larger than my revolver.

Carrying a concealed weapon is about taking responsibility for your own personal protection and that of your loved ones - not a macho trip about how big a gun ya got.
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46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live in Virginia. Hot summers here and I have no trouble concealing a 1911. I use a long sized LL Bean button shirt. Covers it up like a charm. The rounded edges effectively give it a thinner profile. The only modern polymer that is designed that way that I can think of is the Beretta Px4. Length is less of an issue than width. My 9mm Springfield Compact XDm is more noticable than my 1911.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
So basically, you're claiming a one size fits all approach to concealed carry because what works for you obviously will work for everyone?

Do you happen to work for the government?

I have successfully concealed carried a 1911 on a regular basis - and it's a pain during warm weather. Given the circumstances of my own life and the compromises I have to make in order to carry at certain times, I elected to go to the revolver.

I'm still armed, and in some instances that revolver is definitely superior even to ol' Slabsides. One acquaintance had a Ruger LC9 jam on him during a robbery that involved a gun fight inside his own vehicle with his wife and kid in the car at the time. When he jammed the barrel into the thief and pulled the trigger it fired once and was then out of action.

He is going to a revolver.

I'll take lessons from real life circumstances over internet ninja any day.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's a leap in logic. I am merely pointing out that claims of the weight of full sized guns as a limiting factor are bogus. If you carry a full size pistol during the part of the year then you admit that it's not bulky. What it says is that you are not willing to dress properly to carry it when it's warm out. I have a compact and a subcompact 9mm that I carry when circumstances require it but since I retired those circumstances occur far less frequently.

But what I really sense is that given your citation of the advantages of a revolver is that is what you should always carry because less can go wrong then with any automatic. Given your opinions I don't see why you wouldn't carry a standard S&W 686 in the colder months. After all when you stick your 1911 into side of the bad guy you are only going to get off 1 shot as well. Contrary to mythology a 45 ACP isn't necesssarily a one and done thing.



45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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