The U.S. law that currently prohibits amateur gunsmiths from producing undetectable guns, is due to expire on Monday, 9 December.
There is much speculation as to what will happen because the lawmakers are struggling to renew the law for yet another time. The Undetectable Firearms Act was passed in 1988 due to fears of functioning plastic or ceramic guns. Since then it has been renewed twice, once in 1998 and again in 2003. Some people want to extend this law, making it harder for gunsmiths to produce guns like the Liberator.
New York representative Steve Israel is campaigning, not to just reauthorize the law but also to change it. He plans to reintroduce is reform bill just at the time when the House plans to vote on renewing the old one.
He explains his stance saying: “I am a huge fan of 3D printers. I think that they will transform our economy and technology, I just don’t want to make it easier for criminals and terrorists to get guns through metal detectors.”
According to Israel’s spokesperson, his bill requires that two or three major components of a gun be made from metal, steel or some other detectable material.
However this bill is not popular with everyone, with some feeling that an extended law would just regulate hobbyist gun makers or even 3D printing in general.
Cody Wilson, the founder of 3D-printed guns organization Defense Distributed and creator of the Liberator gun said: “The Undetectable Firearms Act was always a kind of a fake law that never really affected anyone’s activity, now it’s just used for bad faith roundabout gun prohibition, just because these people are scared that digital manufacturing makes more people have guns.”
In response Israel said: “That’s just a ridiculous stretch. Nobody is regulating 3D printers in this bill. Nobody is regulating the ability of people to acquire digital blueprints in this bill. All this bill does is to stop, to make it harder for people who want to do us harm to get guns through metal detectors.”
So as the House and Congress both work on bills to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1998, let’s just hope the law doesn’t expire without renewal or reformation. Otherwise anyone would be legally allowed to possess, produce or sell an undetectable 3D printed plastic gun, capable of firing bullets.
[Image via rt]