Highlights of bill extending undetectable gun ban

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2013 9:12 PM

Highlights of legislation that received final congressional approval on Monday from the Senate prohibiting undetectable plastic firearms.

—What the bill does: Extends for 10 more years the ban against guns that are not visible by the type of metal detectors or X-ray machines used at airports.

—Why it is needed: Supporters say undetectable firearms are a growing threat because the proliferation of and improvements to 3-D printers means plastic guns will become increasingly available.

—What would have happened without congressional action: The law, first enacted in 1988, would have expired Tuesday morning.

—What Democrats wanted: A requirement for a permanent metal part. Some plastic guns today have detachable metal pieces that technically obey the law but leave such weapons hard for screeners to detect.

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—How President Barack Obama, in Africa, will sign it: He will order the use of an autopen, which can replicate his signature. Under President George W. Bush, the White House ruled the use of such a device is legal.