|Rep. Israel Announces Legislation to Renew Ban on Plastic Guns|
3-D Printing Technology Provides New Way to Avoid Gun Safety Measures on Books
Islip, NY— Today, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) announced legislation to renew a ban on plastic guns that is set to expire in 2013. Recent reports have pointed to the new possibility of building guns at home using a 3-D printer. Right now, plastic guns are illegal under the Undetectable Firearms Act, but this law is set to expire next year. Though right now printing all of the parts to make a gun at home isn’t feasible, publically available plans can be used to print the lower receiver of a gun. The lower receiver is the part which bears the gun’s serial number and is the most federally regulated, possibly allowing criminals to circumvent a number of gun control laws.
Rep. Israel said, “Congress passed a law banning plastic guns for two decades, when they were just a movie fantasy. With the advent of 3-D printers these guns are suddenly a real possibility, but the law Congress passed is set to expire next year. We should act now to give law enforcement authorities the power to stop the development of these weapons before they are as easy to come by as a Google search. ”
John Feinblatt, Chief Advisor to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for Policy and Strategic Planning, said, “We thank Congressman Israel for his leadership in working to keep New Yorkers safe. Gun violence is a national public safety crisis that deserves the urgent attention of our leaders in Washington, and we hope many will follow the Congressman’s example.”
3-D printers work by printing layer upon layer of a material, usually thermoplastic, on top of each other in order to form a 3-D object. While the current applications of these machines are rather limited, with technology advancing and the prices of these machines dropping, experts foresee these printers becoming common household objects. The Undetectable Firearms Act that Rep. Israel is introducing makes it illegal to manufacture, own, transport, buy, or sell any firearm that is not detectable by metal detector and/or does not present an accurate image when put through an x-ray machine. The reauthorization would extend the life of the bill for another 10 years from the date of enactment.
In New York State alone, of the 774 murders that occurred in 2011, more than 57 percent were committed with a firearm, and of the 8,496 robberies in the state in 2011, 2,516 were committed with a firearm. As a state with some of the toughest gun laws, it’s plausible to believe that, if guns were more freely available, these statistics would probably be much worse.