Congress renews undetectable gun ban just in time

December 10, 2013 by Alan Fram
This photo taken May 10, 2013 shows Cody Wilson holding what he calls a Liberator pistol that was completely made on a 3-D-printer at his home in Austin, Texas. Congress is extending a ban on plastic firearms that can slip past airport and school metal detectors and X-ray machines, a bittersweet moment for gun control advocates just before the first anniversary of the mass killing at a Connecticut elementary school. (AP Photo/Austin American Statesman, Jay Janner)

Congress' easy renewal of an expiring ban on undetectable plastic guns belies the larger reality that major new firearms restrictions have little chance of enactment soon.

Lawmakers took an easy step Monday when the Democratic-run Senate unanimously gave final congressional approval to a bill adding another decade to the prohibition against guns that can slip by airport metal detectors and X-ray machines.

The National Rifle Association did not oppose the extension. But backed by the NRA, Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to strengthen the law to fend off a fresh wave of undetectable produced by rapidly improving 3-D printers, which can make plastic firearms.

Saturday is the first anniversary of the massacre of children and educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Explore further: Files posted online to 'print' working handgun

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