U.S. lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday to extend what is called the “Undetectable Firearms Acts” for another 10 years, amid growing concerns over 3D-printed guns.
In recent months, the possibility of 3D-printed weapons has raised alarms. A document showing how to design a gun on a 3D printer was downloaded more than 100,000 times in the several days before it was removed by the U.S. government, which is keen to block the abuse of 3D technology.
Rep. Steve Israel of New York said he would like to enforce stricter measures, but for the moment the extension of the ban is the best option to counter the circulation of plastic guns. He would prefer to modernize the law but said that, at the very least, he wants an extension of the ban before it expires.
It is possible to produce 3D-printed plastic guns without violating related laws by inserting a removable metal part. Additional legal measures have been proposed to fix possible loopholes in order to prevent 3D technology from being abused for the manufacturing of lethal weapons.
The U.S. firearms act, enacted in 1988, states that it is illegal to “manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive any firearm that’s undetectable by metal detectors and X-ray machines.”
By Yoon Ha-youn, intern reporter