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3-D Printed Gun Ban Fails In Senate 414

Posted by timothy
from the forces-of-indignation dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from The Daily Dot:"On Monday evening, a bill aimed at thwarting the production and distribution of plastic 3-D printed weapons was blocked by Senate Republicans. ... The debate over the new legislation centered around the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act, which bans the production and distribution of weapons that skirt 'walk through metal detectors.' The act has been renewed on two occasions since its passage. It was due to expire again on the 9th of December. The House voted to renew the bill last week. The rise of 3-D printing has made this year's renewal more complicated in the Senate. Many lawmakers, particularly Democrats, feel the current Undetectable Firearms Act inadequately addresses the rising threat posed by printed plastic weapons."
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3-D Printed Gun Ban Fails In Senate

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  • by jimbouse (2425428) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:29AM (#45650081)
    CBS Says it passed [cbsnews.com]

    I believe the Senate Democrats wanted to create a new, tougher bill. The bill that started in the house was passed by both the house and senate. President Obama signed the bill.
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:33AM (#45650131) Homepage

      You might want to try reading that again.

      From the summary: "Many lawmakers, particularly Democrats, feel the current Undetectable Firearms Act inadequately addresses the rising threat posed by printed plastic weapons."

      From your linked article: "President Obama signed the 10-year extension of the Undetectable Firearms Act "

    • by Desler (1608317) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:36AM (#45650153)

      It's because the summary misrepresents what it's linked article actually said. The important quote is:

      On Monday evening, only days before the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Senate extended the Undetectable Firearms Act but failed to pass modifications that would address the growing prevelance of plastic firearms.

      Basically the original act was extended but a modified version failed to pass.

      • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:38AM (#45650797) Journal

        "On Monday evening, only days before an area man masturbated yet again to 3D images of Bigfoot getting a blowjob, the Senate extended the Undetectable Firearms Act."

        Irrelevant bullshit is irrelevant.

    • FTA - "On Monday evening, only days before the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Senate extended the Undetectable Firearms Act but failed to pass modifications that would address the growing prevelance of plastic firearms."

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        I love that term "growing prevalence".

        First someone printed one, then a second one..... OMG the number of 3d printed guns in the US has doubled in 1 day! Just think they went from those two to perhaps 10s of them within....weeks..... why if this growth rate continues, we will be walking to work waist deep on 3d printed guns within a decade!

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          I think the point here is that it's rapidly becoming a proven technology that has a less than 50% chance of injuring the wielder. AFAIK there have been 0 operator fatalities of the devices so far. The reason why nobody thought this was a worthwhile technology to pursue previously was because everybody thought it would detonate immediately. Turns out that the number is closer to 10 and greater than 0. Even 1000 or 10,000 is a pretty big number, up from 0 in less than a year.

        • by jythie (914043)
          Plus, if I recall correctly, the original act didn't actually do anything anyway since the 'growing prevalence' of metal detector proof guns didn't really exist.

          Politicians all around love laws that address imaginary problems, they can argue about them in order to pander to their respective bases without having to worry about actual consequences of whatever they pass or do not pass.
        • Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com]

      • by Applekid (993327)

        ...failed to pass modifications that would address the growing prevelance[sic] of plastic firearms

        Welcome to Fantasy-Horrorland, where the imagined bogeyman is EVERYWHERE.

        Turn left to head towards Tomorrowland, with a full surveillance state.

  • Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:33AM (#45650127) Homepage Journal

    If we can delay it long enough, 3d printing might get good enough that all gun control is moot. We can defeat it like we defeated the Clipper Chip - by letting the cat out of the bag.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:42AM (#45650227)

      You mean, letting the gat out of the bag

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Some of us don't want to live in a Mad Max style dystopia where every criminal, racist, and nut case can get their hands on whatever gun they want.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pi1grim (1956208) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:01AM (#45650417)

        If you don't want to admit you already live in this world, it's fine by me. But please stop trying to pull the blanket over everyone's else eyes.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:21AM (#45650611)

          Or move to a sensible country like Iceland, who doesn't have this problem despite having a citizenry that's heavily armed.

          The US has a gun problem because the US has a crappy culture where violence and ignorance are celebrated and criminals are given encouragement via press and then given no rehabilitation after they commit crimes.

          This has been pointed out many, many times.

      • Already There (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:06AM (#45650471)

        Some of us don't want to live in a Mad Max style dystopia where every criminal, racist, and nut case can get their hands on whatever gun they want.

        You already live in that world. The only question left is if every sane and law abiding citizen should also be able to get a gun to protect themselves.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by minus9 (106327)
          "You already live in that world. The only question left is if every sane and law abiding citizen should also be able to get a gun to protect themselves."

          Maybe you do.

          If you live in so much fear you feel the need to protect yourself with a gun you may want to consider moving to a more civilized part of the world.

          To many people guns are things you see on television, or occasionally carried by specially trained armed response police.
          • by x0ra (1249540)
            I am not afraid and live in a perfectly calm and safe neighborhood of Vancouver, country side. But I still keep a shotgun and many fixed blade knives within reach.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:13AM (#45650529) Homepage

        No you want it so that only criminals can have guns.

        Because for some reason you just can not comprehend the absolute fact that criminals and Evil-doers do not obey laws.

        Want proof that gun bans do not work? My proof is simple.. Chicago and NYC. The criminals have all the guns they want, some of them are 100% illegal already, like AK-47 fully automatic. Your precious gun bans 'dont stop those from being in the hands of criminals... So why do you think more of them will help?

        • Answer: If they can get to the place there are no legal guns, then there is no legal need for ammunition sales to the public. The guns will never go away, but ammunition has the problem of both being expendable and degradable. While ammunition can also be made, it is a bit more traceable. Now I don't think that would significantly change murder rates but in the gun control utopia we could stop GUN violence.
          • Okay folks show of hands how many of you both have N guns and the needed tools to MAKE from base materials rounds in more or less unlimited amounts??

            Oh and raise both hands if you can make guns also.

          • If they can get to the place there are no legal guns, then there is no legal need for ammunition sales to the public. The guns will never go away, but ammunition has the problem of both being expendable and degradable.

            Not a meaningful issue. The guy who sells you the illegal fully-automatic weapon can sell you the ammo for it, which he got in the same place he got the gun - from some government's arsenal.

          • You must be very patient if you believe ammunition to be degradable enough to lead to a shortage. People routinely fire WWII and 50's cold war surplus ammo with 90%+ success rate. Modern ammo, if stored reasonably, like inside your average US home, will last 100 years.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

        by harrkev (623093) <[gro.ylimafnoslerrah] [ta] [dsmfk]> on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:22AM (#45650625) Homepage

        First, let's assume that we can categorize people into two categories: honest and criminal.

        A ban on "plastic" guns from a 3D printer will do exactly what?

        1) It will stop the honest people from making their own 3D printed guns. These are the people who obey the law. Since these people are the ones who obey the law, who cares if they have a plastic gun? They will not do anything bad anyways. For the record, the number of guns used in crimes is something like 0.001% of the total guns out there. Similar argument for gun owners.

        2) If a criminal wants to commit crimes with a 3D printed gun, do you really think that they will actually obey the law banning plastic guns? If so, you are a special kind of stupid.

        So, this law will do absolutely NOTHING to stop crime with "plastic guns" that can be printed in your own home.

        I should also like to point out that even a plastic gun will NOT shoot plastic ammunition. Bullets are made of metal -- and should be readily detected by any decent metal detector.

        • It's not about absolute prevention. Making it illegal keeps it off the books and out of the catalogs. The casual buyers no longer have access. It also deters bigger monied interests from investing in improving the technology enough to make them practical. I don't know much about these 3D weapons, but from the results that activist was getting, it'll take more than a guy tuning a printer in his basement to make them practical. This is a case where prohibition can have a real impact, especially when it's

          • by harrkev (623093)

            Stopping a technology from being created? Yup. That has worked out quite well in the past. Look at the DMCA. Stopped piracy cold, with absolutely no bad effect at all. I sure am glad that nobody has managed to cook up crystal meth in their own home because the laws clearly make trying to do this with, say, an empty soda bottle are illegal. Explosives are also illegal to play with, so nobody has figured out how to use a pressure cooker to make a bomb. I feel safer already.

            This law is like trying to st

        • by shmlco (594907)

          As pointed out above, it's unlikely that the person who commits the crime is the one that is actually producing the weapons. Thus what the law actually does is make it illegal to own, produce, sell, or distribute guns that would violate the law. Which in turn restricts the supply and makes it harder for a criminal to obtain them.

          Without it, you not only have to worry about 3D-print shops mass-producing weapons, but also the possibility of, say, Glock deciding to make and market a polymer/ceramic "undetectab

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        Hey guess what?

        Whether the guns are banned or not, whether 3d printable guns are banned or not, we're simply not going to end up in a movie fantasyland scenario, which is what Mad Maxx is. Stop watching movies and predicating reality on them. It's usually the other way around for people who aren't complete morons.

      • Then move to some other country where "liv[ing] in a Mad Max style dystopia" isn't a Constitutional right.

        • Then move to some other country where "liv[ing] in a Mad Max style dystopia" isn't a Constitutional right.

          Which adequately describes the US before the Progressive Era. Oh, wait, no, that's not it. I was promised a steam-powered autogyro!

      • by x0ra (1249540)
        3D printed firearm is a joke. You can build a perfectly safe shotgun for $30 worth of hardware in every Home Depot...
      • Have you looked at Chicago lately? The dystopia is here already, thanks to gun control nuts.

        I trust the gun nuts far more than I trust the gun control nuts.

      • by JWW (79176)

        Yeah, because its sooo much easier to 3D print a gun than it would be to buy a real gun (that'll fire more than one shot before breaking) on the street.

        Stupid useless laws are useless, we should cheer useless laws not being passed.

      • huh? not sure what you mean. the police already have all the guns they want.

        oh wait, you meant some other bunch of nutcases and criminals.

        gotcha.

        the ones in badges who break down your door to execute no-knock warrants, shoot your dog and then take you for a 'nickle ride' are the Good Guys.

      • Me neither, plus it get's really cold in the winter time in Chicago, Detroit, New York, and DC. Plus way too much traffic.

        I prefer to live in the place where guns are so prevalent that they necessitate having a gun rack in ones vehicle. For some odd reason they typically have few problems with guns in places like that.

  • Is it just me or does this seem like more double speak from this administration?

    I'm going to have to call complete bullshit on this one, now while a 3d printed gun may be able to go through a detector unnoticed don't we currently have police state style pat downs anyway that render a metal detector useless, this isn't even getting into the scanners.
    • by jonwil (467024)

      The fancy scanners are at airports but places like courthouses, schools, nightclubs, government buildings, jails, prisons and such still have the old style metal detectors.
      Heck, there are probably still airports out there that dont have body scanners.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:36AM (#45650159)

    Why create a whole new law when the existing one is perfectly adequate?

    All of us commit three felonies a day [wsj.com] because those asshats in our legislatures just keep piling the laws on to solve non-existent problems.

    This is yet another distraction by the ruling class to keep our minds off of our continually declining standard of living.

  • Already Banned (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:36AM (#45650161)
    Undetectable guns are already banned. The failed legislation was a modification to require inclusion of metal components that would be hard to remove. If you think about it, that doesn't make much sense....its either detectable or its not. Those with criminal intent would not likely be deterred by this minor modification.
    • by Lucas123 (935744)
      "Those with criminal intent would not likely be deterred by the minor modification" or the entire undetectable bill itself. FTFY
    • Re:Already Banned (Score:4, Insightful)

      by necro81 (917438) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:54AM (#45650339) Journal

      The failed legislation was a modification to require inclusion of metal components that would be hard to remove. If you think about it, that doesn't make much sense....its either detectable or its not. Those with criminal intent would not likely be deterred by this minor modification.

      The modification would have made the metal component essential to the function of the gun, the idea being that if you remove it to make the gun undetectable, you also end up with a gun that can't fire. This is aimed largely at people who might manufacture and sell such guns and could perhaps be used as a legal tool against those that might design and publish plans for 3D-printable guns. One can debate the enforceability of such a requirement, but it has a purpose. It won't deter individuals, but that's nothing new.

      • I wonder... if you define what constitutes a legal 3D printed gun, might that encourage the design and production of these guns? The result would be more guns out there.
    • Re:Already Banned (Score:5, Informative)

      by Scutter (18425) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:54AM (#45650341) Journal

      It's actually a lot more insidious than that. According to the GOA:

      Unless it existed before December 10, 1988, the plastic gun ban absolutely bans any gun that is not as detectable in a "walk-through metal detector" as a Security Exemplar (18 U.S.C. 922(p)(1)(A) and (6)).

      The “Security Exemplar” is a piece of metal that the ATF uses to calibrate how much steel a manufacturer needs to put in the gun to make it beep in the metal detector. Other than the fact that it has to contain 3.7 ounces of steel and look sort of like a gun, anti-gun Attorney General Eric Holder can determine, by regulatory fiat, the characteristics of the Exemplar.
      He can determine whether you test guns with a "top flight" metal detector -- or a crummy one. He can determine how many times (or thousands of times) a gun has to pass in order not to be banned.

      In addition, every "major component" of every firearm has to pass through an airport x-ray in such a way that its shape is "accurately" depicted (18 U.S.C. 922(p)(1)(B)).

      The problem is that the language of the law is so amazingly vague that the BATFE could use it to outlaw just about any gun currently on the market if they so chose.

  • Sandy Hook? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by myth24601 (893486) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @10:45AM (#45650257)

    Why does the article bring up Sandy Hook? It has nothing to do with this issue.

  • Bullets are detectable, right? Good luck making plastic casings for those. Oh, and plastic slugs of course.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:10AM (#45650503)

    The stupidity of banning 3D guns is that you are trying to ban something someone does in the privacy of their own home.

    Laws that are utterly unenforceable and just exist to make people feel good have no place in our world.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:19AM (#45650599)

    You can only go so far with setting restrictions on things like this. When a criminal is desperate enough, they will commit crime with so much as a finger-gun in their pocket and a scribbled note. The laws becomes ineffective at some point. There is no point in spending further time/money on legislation that isn't going to prevent more crime.

    Printing plastic guns is a novelty. The only people doing it are hobbyists who are enthusiastic enough to buy the equipment and companies who want street cred' in manufacturing. Criminals are just not going to spend the time trying to print a weapon when so many other options are available. The ones who do will be the publicity whores looking to make national news and capitalize off the ridiculous drama currently being created around the issue.

    Want to prevent more gun crime? Start with adequate state-sponsored mental health facilities, stiffer penalties for bullying and high school/workplace "terrorism", loss of permit for negligent CCW abuses (along with annual safety courses).

  • Has there been a single documented case of someone using a 3D-printed plastic gun to commit a crime?

  • by x0ra (1249540) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:10PM (#45651119)
    The whole Undetectable Firearm Act has always been a piss in the wind . There is no such things as full polymer/plastic undetectable firearms mainstream firearm. Most of this is pure paranoia following the introduction of Glock pistols, but guess what ? There is plenty of metal part in a Glock, unless of course you believe Die Hard 2 is a reliable source of firearm information. The barrel, the action are mostly metal, that is the parts handling most of the stress. Only the frame and other low stress stressed parts are made of polymer. Even without the UFA, there would be no point in a full polymer firearm, the materials just don't have the strength to handle the stress and pressure of a round going off, not to mention the rifling in the barrel would wear out pretty quick...
  • The reality is that all these bills are an attempt to make the people feel like the government is doing something about their fears. Gun control laws are not going to stop dedicated criminals from obtaining and misusing guns. Regulating ammunition would be more effective and even that will only be partially so. People can make their own ammo as well as making their own guns. The difference is that making your own ammo from scratch requires alot more work then just printing a gun these days. Either way thoug

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