The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Howard Coble that would add another 10 years to the life of a law that bans guns that can’t be spotted with metal detectors or airport X-ray machines.
The 1988 law bans the kind of plastic weapons that are being made cheaply with 3D printing technology.
The House approved the extension of the law on a voice vote, something usually done when there’s broad bipartisan agreement.
If Congress doesn’t extend the law, it will expire on Monday. That's also the day that the U.S. Senate returns from a two-week Thanksgiving break.
After the House voted, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a press conference in Washington that he would propose a bill next week that would extend the ban for 10 years and close what Schumer called a dangerous loophole.
He said an illegal gun could be made legal under the law by attaching a removal piece of metal to it. Once that part is popped off, the gun could be taken through security without being detected.
Schumer said in a statement that plastic guns that people can make at home with a 3D printer used to be able to fire only one bullet before falling apart, but now they can shoot multiple bullets and are more reliable.
The bill passed by the House had the support of the National Shooting Sports Federation, a trade group for the firearms and ammunition industry. The National Rifle Association didn’t comment on it. Gun Owners of America opposed it, arguing that the ban infringed on the Second Amendment.