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House passes 'Undetectable Firearms Act' renewal, with 1 'No' vote

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On Tuesday, December 3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3626, a ten year extension of the "Undetectable Firearms Act," by voice vote. According to Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), he was the only "No" vote (although since it was a voice vote, that will be hard to verify). Not only did House Republicans overwhelmingly support this infringement on that which shall not be infringed, the bill was introduced by North Carolina "conservative" Republican Howard Coble. Coble has an "A" rating from the NRA. Admittedly, Gun Owners of America has awarded him the same grade, but in their case, there is reason for confidence that Coble will downgraded significantly. In the NRA's case--not so much.

One interesting aspect of H.R. 3626 is the "Constitutional Authority Statement." For the last several years, House rules have required that every bill be accompanied with a statement outlining what provision of the Constitution empowers Congress to pass the law in question. Rep. Coble would like us to believe that this bill is justified by "Article I. Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution." That, of course, is the long-abused "interstate commerce clause."

Perhaps Rep. Coble would like to explain how an item one produces on a 3-D printer in one's own home, for one's personal use, has anything to do with "interstate commerce."

Ironically, the greatest remaining hope for killing this legislative atrocity lies in the anti-gun Senate Democrats who are most enthusiastically in favor of it. From McClatchy D.C.:

Some Democrats reportedly think the bill doesn’t go far enough and may vote against it.

. . .

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement on Monday that the House bill was "better than nothing, but it isn't good enough." Schumer said it was necessary to close a loophole that allows guns to be made out of plastic as long as they have some metal in them, even if it's an easily removable part.

Schumer is referring to what he and the doubly dishonestly named "Think Progress" (which advocates neither thought nor progress) call the "loophole" of the current ban's requirement that a gun contain a certain minimum quantity of metal, but not requiring that the metal comprise a part of the gun that is absolutely necessary for the gun's function:

Renewed twice since 1988, the federal law bans firearms that go unnoticed by a metal detector and requires them to be shaped like a gun. However, the law by itself does not fully address the threat of plastic guns made from 3D printers, because a loophole permits some plastic guns even if the small metal piece that triggers detectors is removable. One legal model lets owners carry firearms with a removable nail that would not be picked up by metal detectors and X-Ray machines.

In other words, Schumer and "Think Progress" are asking the American people to believe that someone with murderous intent would print an all-plastic gun in order to sneak it onto an aircraft or into a courtroom (what about ammo?) if it were legal, but will not if the government tells him doing so is verboten. Sure, Chuck.

Schumer and fiends (that's not a typo) apparently are not without allies in the GOP, according to MSN, quoting a Kentucky Republican congressman who shares Schumer's sick desire to "tighten up" the existing ban:

Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky, a leading Republican, expressed concerns of his own, and said, "I'll be looking to tighten up the process."

Unfortunately for Schumer, he appears unlikely to win the Most Hysterical Panicked Screeching Award, despite his impressive effort. That award appears to be unshakably in the grasp of the Brady Campaign's Brian Malte, judging by this quote in the Guardian:

"We can't let a minute or hour or day go by without having a renewal [of the ban]," said Brian Malte, a director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The group's strong concerns about the availability of plastic guns were "no reason to hold up renewal", he said.

Malte is evidently of the opinion that our hypothetical aspiring terrorist would print a plastic gun if the the law allows--for a minute (keep in mind that printing guns to date has invariably required a considerable number of hours), but will faithfully obey the law if it never lapses.

As this column has argued repeatedly, the anti-gun zealots' real objection to printed guns has nothing to do with the silly non-issue of their being "undetectable," and everything with them being uncontrollable, because a fighting arm that one can make for oneself is clearly not subject to background checks or arbitrary limits on its effectiveness.

And the best news of all is that no law Congress passes can do anything about that. Anyone who has any doubts about that statement is encouraged to check out the Terminal Cornucopia website, featuring weapons designs that can be quickly built from materials one can easily and legally obtain after passing through airport screening measures, with tools that one could legally have brought along. The sidebar video shows the "BlunderBusinessClass" shotgun, but that's only one of several impressive designs.

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