U.S. House votes on gun law set to expire


Growing concerns about plastic guns made with 3D printers raise new questions about a bill before Congress.

Just days before it is set to expire, the U.S. House voted to extend a law requiring that all guns be detectable by metal screening machines.

It is new technology that is legal, and could be for a while thanks to a loophole in an expiring 25-year-old gun law, which the House voted to extend.  

"A loophole can be closed down the line. That is a preferred scenario to no law at all," said Rep. Steve Israel, (D) New York.

At issue: a ban on guns that can't be detected by metal screening machines, such as 3D printed plastic guns.

Congress intentionally wrote the law to expire after 10 years, in order to update it as technology evolved. At the time, a gun you can print at home was considered science fiction.

The receiver of a gun is the part that's licensed. It has a serial number. If you can make the receiver, than you've essentially got the gun.

Up against a deadline, the ban will lapse this Monday -  lawmakers in both parties punted on making any updates.

Some Democrats in the Senate say they'll try to close loopholes and expand the ban on undetectable firearms, but they've got powerful, familiar opposition: the National Rifle Association, which said in a statement:

"The NRA strongly opposes any expansion of the Undetectable Firearms Act, including applying the UFA to magazines, gun parts, or the development of new technologies."

Many lawmakers - mostly Republican - agree with the NRA.

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