Avoiding Tuesday’s expiration, a Senate vote on Monday extended the prohibition on plastic guns for another decade, the first federal curb on firearms since last year’s Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
The ban on plastic firearms, which are capable of evading metal detectors and X-ray machines, is a bittersweet moment for gun control advocates, as it comes just days before the one year anniversary of Adam Lanza’s shooting spree.
Monday’s vote to extend the prohibition on plastic guns for another decade responds to a growing threat from steadily improving 3-D printers that can produce such weapons. But gun control advocates seem sure to lose an effort to impose additional, tougher restrictions on plastic firearms — a harsh reminder of their failure to enact any new federal gun curbs in the year since 20 first-graders and six educators were murdered in Newtown, Conn.
The slayings last Dec. 14 prompted the newly re-elected President Barack Obama to push gun control to the top of his domestic agenda. But Congress approved nothing, and gun control advocates face the same uphill struggle in 2014, complicated by internal divisions over what their next step should be.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) is attempting to make plastic guns more detectable by requiring them to have a permanent metal part, but his plan has met some dissent from Republicans and the National Rifle Association and seems to face certain failure during Monday’s vote.
The 10-year extension of the ban, however, is expected to pass through easily.
In a statement last week, the NRA expressed no opposition to renewing the law. But the gun lobby said it would fight any expanded requirements, including Schumer’s “or any other proposal that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights” to bear arms.
We’ll keep you updated on any new developments in the gun control debate.
SOURCE: AP | PHOTO CREDIT: Screengrab