The 1998 Undetectable Firearms Act will sunset that day, ending the prohibition at a time when new technology has made it easier than ever before to manufacture plastic guns with 3-D printers.
Gun control activists warn that a lapse would allow anyone with a few thousand dollars to build a homemade gun that would be undetectable at airports, government buildings or schools.
That threat was little more than “science fiction,” when Congress overwhelmingly backed the ban 25 years ago,” said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), who is pressing legislation to renew the law.
“We didn’t think it would be a good idea to let the bad guys get a gun through metal detectors,” Israel said.
But with Congress away for a Thanksgiving recess and congressional Republicans in no apparent hurry to address the ban, the chances of a lapse in the ban are growing.
“I’m getting more skeptical,” Israel told The Hill.
Before the Senate adjourned Thursday night, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) floated a request for unanimous consent to reauthorize the law for one year. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) objected, effectively blocking any action in the upper chamber until at least Dec. 9, they day the Senate returns and the law is set to expire.
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