The House of Representatives today voted to extend the “Undetectable Firearms Act,” originally enacted in 1988 and set to expire on December 8, with Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky tweeting that his was the only vote in opposition.
“The plastic gun ban (Undetectable Firearms Act) just passed the house on voice vote with 10 reps present,” Massie told his followers. “I was the only no vote.”
This column has asked Rep. Massie to provide more details on his statement.
The actual “debate,” if congratulations across the aisle on “bipartisanship” can be considered such, and vote, can be watched on CSPAN, beginning at 1:12:37 into the video. The attendance does indeed look sparse.
The bill to extend the act was introduced yesterday by Rep. Howard Coble, a North Carolina Republican, and co-sponsored by New York Democrat, Rep. Steve Israel, a vocal opponent of 3D printing technology applied to gunmaking, as well as a committed proponent of “gun control” edicts. Gun Rights Examiner reported last Tuesday that the National Shooting Sports Foundation had endorsed passage of the extension under the justification they feared something worse would pass, and the National Rifle Association had remained silent on the issue, refusing to make a vote to extend the ban affect political grades.
Now that this beachhead has been surrendered without a fight, it heads to the Senate where, per Bloomberg Businessweek, “Democratic lawmakers are considering revisions to deal with emerging technology.” That beachheads are used to launch further incursions is precisely the analogy this column made when arguing against just ceding the issue.
One point the Bloomberg report got wrong is the headline claiming “NRA remains mum.” While it’s true they’ve been silent on opposing the extension, the Association released a statement today claiming “misinformation over this issue and NRA’s position on it has unfortunately reached a heightened level.”
NRA's objection seems to be one of clarifying that Coble’s bill does not expand current law, it merely extends it, and that they oppose any expansion. That was not the argument made in this column, which believes NRA should have also opposed the extension, that there is no valid reason for those representing themselves to be leaders to have waited until it was a done deal before issuing a statement, and that the wording of the statement deflects from that issue and provides cover for Rep. Coble to preemptively surrender with no repercussions. Unsurprisingly, during the discussion in the House prior to the voice vote, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia and Rep. Israel indicated they wanted to go for more but did not have time -- which the extension would buy them. That's now one less hurdle they will need to overcome.
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When it comes to gun laws, the antis love them so much they’d like to make a patchwork quilt out of them. The latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it before the issue hits the stands. Click here to read "Preemptive Strike.”