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U.S. House to vote on banning plastic guns

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The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on renewing a 25-year-old law that bans the production of undetectable guns.

According to Fox News on Dec. 2, the law, if passed, would prohibit the manufacture of plastic weapons, which cannot be detected when going through security at airports and metal detectors.

The pressure to renew the ban comes as concerns have been growing over the emergence of 3D printing which can now recreate some operable plastic guns. The bill is being sponsored by Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC).

According to Fox, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), as well as other Republicans in the Senate, blocked the consideration of the renewal. The Senate bill was brought up by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

The bill, The Undetectable Firearms Act, was first enacted in 1988 which made it illegal to "manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive" any firearm that cannot be detected by metal detectors and X-ray machines. The last time the bill was authorized was in 2003.

Larry Pratt, the executive director of the National Rifle Association, told the the New York Times:

They're not going to be in Kinkos. 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.

But Schumer has argued that 3D technology and printing has advanced to the point where anyone with $1,000 and an internet connection can access the plastic parts that can be fitted into a gun. Plastic firearms cannot be detected by metal detectors.

The House is scheduled to take up the ban on Dec. 2.

Stay tuned.

For more updates on what's going on in Washington and other political news and commentary from this author, click Subscribe or follow Kareem on Twitter, like him on Facebook, or email him your comments or questions.

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