Police officials and members of Congress fear that if a law known as the Undetectable Firearms Act is not renewed and updated when it expires on Dec. 9, plastic firearms that can slip past metal detectors and X-ray machines will become a law enforcement problem across the country, says the New York Times. Homemade plastic guns are a reality, made possible by the proliferation of 3-D printing technology that was only getting started when the law was signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
The expiring law bans guns that can pass unnoticed through a metal detector, and has been renewed twice in the 25 years since it was first enacted. Reauthorizing it has been caught up in a political standoff. For now, the extension is delayed as lawmakers fight over whether to simply extend the law or amend it to include new provisions aimed at 3-D printed weapons. The Senate recently set aside a measure to extend the law for a year because of objections by Republicans. The House is expected to approve a 10-year extension of the law when it returns next week.