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Sen. Chuck Schumer Seeks To Extend Ban On 'Undetectable' 3D-Printed Guns

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the reliable-chuck-grinds-his-axes-on-guns dept.

Democrats 550

SonicSpike writes with this snippet from The Guardian: "As the technology to print 3D firearms advances, a federal law that banned the undetectable guns is about to expire. The New York senator Chuck Schumer says he is seeking an extension of the law before it expires on 9 December. Schumer said the technology of so-called 3D printing has advanced to the point where anyone with $1,000 and an internet connection can access the plastic parts that can be fitted into a gun. Those firearms cannot be detected by metal detectors or x-ray machines. Schumer says that means anyone can download a gun cheaply, then take the weapons anywhere, including high-security areas. The Democrat is pushing the extension along with Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Bill Nelson of Florida. The effort was announced on Sunday."

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550 comments

Liberty is the only thing in danger here. (5, Insightful)

landofcleve (1959610) | about 8 months ago | (#45453437)

From those who kill it in the name of defending it.

Re:Liberty is the only thing in danger here. (4, Insightful)

Jhon (241832) | about 8 months ago | (#45453813)

I would like to see a ban against completely ineffectual laws. How effective were the "bans" on guns in movie theaters, malls and schools?

Re:Liberty is the only thing in danger here. (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | about 8 months ago | (#45453985)

No American jurisdiction that I'm aware of (even the anti-gun New York State, where I currently reside) bans firearms within movie theaters or malls. Those are private property, and private property owners are free to allow or prohibit firearms. A prohibition by the property owner may or may not have force of law, depending on the jurisdiction. Here in New York, "no guns allowed" signs have no force of law, outside of trespassing, i.e., if they ask you to leave and you refuse you've committed a crime. They're effectively in the same league as the sign that says "shirts and shoes required". Other jurisdictions (Ohio, Texas, Tennessee, to name a few) give such signs the force of law, and you can lose your concealed carry license and face criminal charges if you ignore them.

Re:Liberty is the only thing in danger here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454033)

Illinois.

Futility of certain laws (5, Interesting)

John Christopher (2998003) | about 8 months ago | (#45453443)

I understand the apprehension caused by firearms that can't currently be detected, but I don't quite understand what he's trying to accomplish in enacting a law that can't be enforced

Re:Futility of certain laws (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45453459)

You mean, as soon as the gun is detected, it no longer falls under the "undetectable gun" rule? That is indeed a conundrum.

Re:Futility of certain laws (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453625)

I demand a vagina blowjob right this minute! Suck the cockpoles right out of my filthy cock with your vagina! I demand it!

Re:Futility of certain laws (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453467)

The bullet can be detected. Politicians lying as always.

Re:Futility of certain laws (2, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 8 months ago | (#45453631)

It always seemed to me that controlling the ammunition would be easier than controlling the weapon itself. Making a gun is relatively easy compared to making your own gunpowder, especially if you only need the gun to be able to fire a few shots, as is the case with the majority of guns made on the current stock low-end 3D printers that he's concerned about. I'm not in favor of controlling the distribution of gunpowder to the degree they try to control guns, but I do think it would make more sense from an enforcement and regulation perspective.

Re:Futility of certain laws (4, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 8 months ago | (#45453729)

Making a bullet is relatively simple. If the control fell mostly on bullets "cheap" home made bullets would be soon sold.

Making gunpowder, as most of what could be made in the 9th century, isn't very hard. If the control fell mostly on gunpowder we'd be able to buy in online "cheap".

Anyway, it's moot. You can't stop people from making medium range weapons with laws.

Re:Futility of certain laws (3, Informative)

kaladorn (514293) | about 8 months ago | (#45453731)

Apparently even more effective: The primers used in modern ammunition. They are even harder to manufacture than good, clean gunpowder.

These politicos don't read the classics. You can't stuff Pandora (or William Shatner) into the box again....

Re:Futility of certain laws (4, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 8 months ago | (#45454067)

The primers used in modern ammunition. They are even harder to manufacture than good, clean gunpowder.

Certainly not much harder than methamphetamine, which the black market has little problem supplying.

Re:Futility of certain laws (2)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 8 months ago | (#45454079)

The thing that I'm not seeing take hold yet, but I think it will, is going beyond the concept of gun and ammunition for 3D printed weapons.

For example, I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to make a 3D printed mould for a small shaped charge, a 'stick' of some sort to attach the shaped charge to plus 'firing mechanism'. One would then take a disk of copper, not in itself likely to attract attention, fit the copper disk to the shaped charge, point it, fire it and the slug of molten copper could go through tank armor, let alone the door of say, an airliner cockpit.

Alternatively some kind of 'fragmentation projector' made of plastic, again probably with a shaped charge, which would propel plastic shrapnel at high speed and close quarters. One-shot, kills one person at point blank range, no metal components whatsoever.

I'm no weapons expert (to those who are this doubtless shows) but I'm sure there are ways to produce alternative weaponry using 3D printing technology and no conventional components apart from the explosives themselves.

You have to think outside the box and conventional ammunition is definitely 'in the box'.

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 8 months ago | (#45453639)

But what if someone hides them in his lucky rabbit foot keyring!?!?

Re:Futility of certain laws (3, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about 8 months ago | (#45453469)

+1 - wtf is the point?

Anybody that really wants to can already manufacturer their own weapons in the airport: Terminal Cornucopia [youtube.com] .

A 3D printed knife would probably be a much better weapon than a 3D printed gun that can only fire one shot.

Re:Futility of certain laws (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#45453527)

+1 - wtf is the point?

Anybody that really wants to can already manufacturer their own weapons in the airport: Terminal Cornucopia [youtube.com] .

No need. C4 fits in rectums, along with detonators, etc.

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45453601)

We've had the shoebomber and the pantsbomber, so it's only a matter of time before there's a buttbomber.

BRB, door. Or rather several large men where it used to be.

Re:Futility of certain laws (5, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 8 months ago | (#45453721)

We've had the shoebomber and the pantsbomber, so it's only a matter of time before there's a buttbomber.

There's already been one. He tried to assassinate (heh heh heh) a Saudi royal IIRC. Trouble is he kept it up his ass and almost all of the energy went in to blowing him apart. It made a godawful mess, but failed to do much physical damage beyond a rather large cleaning bill.

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453799)

It's like the retards never heard of guys throwing themselves on grenades. We've heard about it because it worked.

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 8 months ago | (#45453931)

There was also a second butt bomber ("body cavity" to the prudes at the New York Times [nytimes.com] ) in Afghanistan. It caused "severe abdominal wounds" to both of them, if you want to understate the fate of the suicider.

Perhaps the next advancement in "body cavity" bombs is goatse-ing the victim?

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 8 months ago | (#45454117)

We've had the shoebomber and the pantsbomber, so it's only a matter of time before there's a buttbomber.

There's already been one. He tried to assassinate (heh heh heh) a Saudi royal IIRC. Trouble is he kept it up his ass and almost all of the energy went in to blowing him apart. It made a godawful mess, but failed to do much physical damage beyond a rather large cleaning bill.

I guess it depends what you use for a 'body cavity bomb', a claymore mine in your gut (facing forward) could really rip a room apart.

Re:Futility of certain laws (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#45453895)

If I was a boss at Al-Qaeda I'd be getting people to stuff things up their ass and sending them to airports all day long. The chaos that follows when sheeple figure out that the TSA cannot protect them would be priceless. Chaos would ensue, the economy would tank overnight. That's real terrorism, I'd sleep soundly afterwards knowing I was doing my job.

The fact that they aren't doing this is just more proof that there's no real organized terrorists out there, just occasional lunatics (Boston).

All the security, all the gropings and inconvenience is just theater for the masses.

(And a way for a few people to get richer - the head of the TSA owns shares in the company that make the scanners ... surprise!)

Re:Futility of certain laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453699)

For now, at least, C4 is pretty fucking hard to obtain whilst 3D printers will soon be ubiquitous.

Re:Futility of certain laws (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#45453837)

It's pointless trying to get a gun on a plane. What would you do with it, exactly? Kill another passenger or a flight attendant? There's no escape route afterwards and a SWAT team will be waiting for you when you land. It seems much better to shoot the other person in the airport security queue then run away.

Maybe a plastic, single-shot gun is useful if you want to kill a particular person inside a secure building and don't mind getting arrested afterwards. That seems like an unlikely scenario to me. If I was that sort of assassin I'd to wait for the person to go outside the building then show up on a motorbike with some heavy artillery (purchased from Walmart).

All in all, plastic guns don't seem very useful. Can you suggest a realistic scenario where a plastic gun would be essential (or even make a job much easier)?

Re:Futility of certain laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453809)

+1 - wtf is the point?

Anybody that really wants to can already manufacturer their own weapons in the airport: Terminal Cornucopia [youtube.com] .

No need. C4 fits in rectums, along with detonators, etc.

Uhhhh, two things.

TMI.

And speak for yourself.

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#45454047)

No need. C4 fits in rectums, along with detonators, etc.

Uhhhh, two things.

TMI.

And speak for yourself.

How exactly do you think people get drugs/cellphones/cellphone chargers/etc. into prisons?

It's also a common way of getting drugs through airports. Think about that next time you're sniffing cocaine or injecting heroin...

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 8 months ago | (#45454149)

No need to do that, either. Just kill the people in line at the security stations. Why kill one plane worth of people when you can kill 20 planes worth even easier?

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 8 months ago | (#45453643)

Or just buy a ceramic knife... will probably be more capable than a 3D printed knife. However, many ceramic knives have a metal rod embedded in them for either sturdiness or detectability, so you'd want to avoid those.

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#45453947)

Yep. If you can get close enough to a person that a single-shot plastic gun is effective then a knife is probably more dangerous.

One low-velocity shot* vs. multiple stabs/throat slashes? I'd take my chances with the bullet.

* What's the muzzle velocity of those things anyway?

Re:Futility of certain laws (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | about 8 months ago | (#45454069)

I'd take my chances with the bullet.

80% of people shot with handguns survive. True statistic, learned it in a ballistics wounding seminar from a cardio-thoracic surgeon. I'd much rather face a handgun than a knife.

Layman just don't appreciate the energy differences between pistols and rifles. Pistols don't operate at the energy levels necessary for remote wounding effects, so they can only kill through two effects: Blood loss and the destruction/disablement of the central nervous system. The former takes time, sometimes a lot of it (stories abound of people surviving gun shot wounds for hours before finally receiving medical attention), whereas the latter is a comparatively small target that's only occasionally hit in a gunfight.

Rifles are a different animal entirely of course, but they're rarely used in crime and not something that those outside of the military generally need to concern themselves with.

Re:Futility of certain laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453523)

I understand the apprehension caused by firearms that can't currently be detected, but I don't quite understand what he's trying to accomplish in enacting a law that can't be enforced

Same as every other politician.. Visibility.
3D printed guns are not a credible threat. So banning them is kind of like banning head mounts that allow the attachment of laser weapons to sharks.

It's a law that takes no extra resources to enact, costs nothing extra to enforce, and still gets his name in the media.

Win win scenario.

Re:Futility of certain laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453659)

I understand the apprehension caused by firearms that can't currently be detected, but I don't quite understand what he's trying to accomplish in enacting a law that can't be enforced

Why couldn't it be enforced? In an actually useful manner?

Let's for the sake of argument say that law enforcement is actually legitimately with a court order eavesdropping on Joe The Suspected Assassin's Internet use and monitoring his credit card use. They find out that he has bought a 3D printer + materials and also downloaded the files needed for printing it. Without this ban his actions have not yet yielded much more for law enforcement to go on but with this Joe's actions could be enough for law enforcement to get a search warrant since he can reasonably be suspected of committing a crime. If it furthermore turns out that that is the only thing that can be proven in court, he gets convicted, which would be a desirable outcome, if we in this case for the sake of argument say that he indeed was intent on killing someone.

Re:Futility of certain laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454081)

Then obviously we should make using credit cards illegal. That would catch 'Joe The Suspected Assassin' *much' faster in the chain of events. /s

Re:Futility of certain laws (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#45453683)

He's not even trying to "enact" a law - he's trying to get an extension to a law that's already on the books, and was made specifically to prevent people from having all-plastic guns that could evade detectors.

The horse is kind of out of the barn on this one since anyone with access with a decent 3D printer can make an un-registered gun, but making them legal means what little regulation we have on the gun industry falls apart because none of those plastic guns will need to be registered before they leave the factory. They're untraceable.

Re:Futility of certain laws (4, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | about 8 months ago | (#45453759)

When the TSA is rooting through your panties looking for cash and drugs to steal, maybe they'll find it. Blind pig, acorn and all.

Number of terrorists caught by TSA: 0

Number of TSA screeners arrested for rape: > 0

Number of TSA screeners arrested for drug smuggling: > 0

Number of TSA screeners arrested for child porn: > 0

Number of TSA screeners arrested for stealing: > 0

Re:Futility of certain laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453843)

Because people elect morons like Chuck Schumer.

I'm sorry, I shouldn't Schumer and most politicians morons. They make very good livings doing nothing productive, if anything at all. Maybe it's us who are the morons for voting these parasites back into office?

Re:Futility of certain laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453919)

If someone gets caught, they really get the book thrown at them. It's how many otherwise silly laws get used.

Response to this will be interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453445)

We're about to find out how many in the pro-gun lobby are really pro-gun-business.

Re:Response to this will be interesting (2, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45453519)

Hardly.

While I'm sure there are some businessmen who don't really care about the nature of their business, there's also folks who think that guns should be widespread among responsible people in responsible circumstances - A nutjob with an undetectable pistol is riskier than a responsible person carrying an assault rifle. Then there's the pro-gun-business types who see 3d-printed guns as a boon. Sure, somebody might print a gun instead of buying one, but the businesses make the real thing, ripe for collectors who are willing to pay more to have a metal original, rather than a plastic copy. Of course, we also can't discount the political folks who will support or oppose the law just because it came from the Democrats.

I'm terribly sorry, but people are different and have different opinions. Their response to one idea does not characterize them.

what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453449)

the only thing that will get hurt with a plastic gun made on a 1000$ printer is the one trying to fire it, and until you get get bullets and casings made from plastic it will still be detectable by eray and metal detectors

Re:what? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#45453507)

Yeah?

Cue a while load of people who remembered they had a couple of bullets in the bottom of their kit bag after going though security...3...2...1...post!

Some sort of gun-revealing device (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45453453)

If only there was some way to ensure that the guns contained a large, metal object that would show up on an x-ray. You could make such an object out of a dense metal like lead to ensure that it showed up.

Re:Some sort of gun-revealing device (2)

berryjw (1071694) | about 8 months ago | (#45453471)

Right. Or perhaps several of these objects. Has anyone seen my paper-weight??

Re:Some sort of gun-revealing device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453553)

Maybe these objects could be combined with some sort of chemical that is really easy for dogs to smell?

Re:Some sort of gun-revealing device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453497)

Exactly. Without ammunition, any gun is just extra baggage, useful perhaps as a club or object to hurl at someone.

Re:Some sort of gun-revealing device (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45453513)

All joking aside, in many environments weapons are much more stringently secured or controlled than their ammunition so it is cause for concern.

Re:Some sort of gun-revealing device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453789)

You're absolutely right. Nanny-state liberals trying to ban everything under the sun for "safety" (HA, HA!!!, HAAA!!!!!) is definitely a cause for concern. I hate authoritarians.

Re:Some sort of gun-revealing device (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45453811)

I was thinking more along the lines of "you might want to revise your armory arrangements" but if you want to just bullshit people I guess that's what Slashdot is here for.

Only outlaws (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#45453455)

And the ban is going to stop a crook or terrorist how now?

King Canute eat your heart out (2)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 8 months ago | (#45453457)

One can either laugh or cry at the desperate attempts of our technologically ignorant leaders to hold back the inevitable. There is a spin that suggests that Canute was trying to get his sycophantic courtiers to see sense by showing them that he could not stop the incoming tides; perhaps a similar lesson is needed here.

Re:King Canute eat your heart out (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45453499)

That's the the original story, not that the story is necessarily anything more than a nice fable dressed up with a real historical figure. The hubris version is much more modern.

Wooden crossbow... (2)

amalcolm (1838434) | about 8 months ago | (#45453461)

..lethal at close range, just as undetectable!

Re: Wooden crossbow... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 8 months ago | (#45453521)

Or a pipe bomb made with PVC.

Re: Wooden crossbow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453595)

Or my imaginary katana!

Completely undetectable, and still legal!

Re:Wooden crossbow... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 8 months ago | (#45453661)

And arguably a better weapon anyways. Build a Chinese repeating crossbow - fast as a bolt-action rifle, greater range and accuracy than current plastic printed guns, and far, FAR less likely to explode in your face.

Re:Wooden crossbow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454131)

Not so sure about the accuracy claim. Those things are pretty much impossible to aim with any sort of accuracy because of how they are fired. (Big, full-arm motion, while braced on your *hip*.)

Remind me why this is needed? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453477)

It's already illegal to conceal carry without a permit, it's illegal to shoot someone else. Why do we need yet another law telling us that it's illegal to possess these weapons? If someone is going to 3D print a gun and use it to commit a crime, they really don't care if it's illegal.

Besides, all the government needs is one story about a poorly constructed 3D printed gun that exploded when fired and injured the would be shooter

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#45453529)

While the law is technologically pointless, the idea is to have an little prevention in place by making it difficult to obtain fire arms that would be able to bypass security in places that do not want guns present. If I recall correctly the fear at the time was of mass produced plastic guns that anyone could wander down to the local shop and pick up, thus presenting a very low barrier to bypassing metal detectors. The fear was not valid, but if it had been the law would have made sense even though actual use of a gun within such a space was already illegal.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (1)

lxs (131946) | about 8 months ago | (#45453543)

So I'm still allowed to shoot myself?
Good to know.

Re: Remind me why this is needed? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#45453665)

no, you are not allowed to shoot yourself. that is a crime.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (2, Interesting)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 8 months ago | (#45453551)

Agreed.
No new law should be allowed to be passed unless:

1 - Written in plain English, no legalese, the layman MUST be able to parse it and understand it
                        AND
2 - No more that 2 pages at most.
                      AND
3 - Two or more existing laws are repealed for each new law passed (This can be revised down to one-for-one once the current lawbooks are cut to 1/4 their current size)

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45453711)

Because of course it's been scientifically proven that having 0.25000000 times the current number of laws is the optimum.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 8 months ago | (#45453751)

1 - Written in plain English, no legalese, the layman MUST be able to parse it and understand it

Yes, because all that nasty legalese has nothing to do with the need to make laws precise, and avoid laws with either massive loopholes or massive opportunities for prosecutors or judges to choose whatever intepretation they happen to prefer.

2 - No more that 2 pages at most.

Yes, because no issue being legislated is ever complex.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (5, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#45453803)

Allow me to rephrase that for you:

1 - I don't understand law

2 - We shouldn't make stuff I don't understand

3 - Let's just get rid of stuff I don't understand

The majority of every long legal text is there to be explicitly precise about every detail of how it's supposed to work. As new loopholes are found in existing terms, new language is used in future texts to avoid them.

For example, a hundred years ago, it might have been fine to say "buy" in a contract to refer to someone getting something, but thanks to the last hundred years of legal cases, there are many ways to avoid that particular term. You could trade for goods other than money. You could arrange a sequence of gifts. The exchange could be interrupted by a sudden death. Part of the exchange could be specified in a will. Once the trade is made, the items bought could come with attached expectations or conditions, or it could be part of a package deal.

Consider law as a program for illogical machines. Just as any other programming language requires verbosity (or a significant amount of definitions) to achieve precision, so must law. Humans are just particularly good at exploiting bugs.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454001)

Your points just make me think that the court system and judges will need re-eduction in how to enforce these simplified laws. The government has lost track of how many laws and regulations are in effect. That's a valid argument that we have too many of them.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45453829)

Have you actually written anything in English? It's barely possible to compose an unambiguously interpretable vacuum cleaner manual under those constraints.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453679)

It's already illegal to conceal carry without a permit, it's illegal to shoot someone else. Why do we need yet another law telling us that it's illegal to possess these weapons? If someone is going to 3D print a gun and use it to commit a crime, they really don't care if it's illegal.

I think the problem is that once someone is shot it is already too late. By making it illegal to aim a gun at someone or to carry a (loaded) gun in populated areas it is possible to stop someone before the actual shooting has taken place.
I do not see why the hell one would make printed guns illegal specifically, they aren't any more dangerous than regular guns. Perhaps the political climate doesn't allow for a discussion regarding other guns.

Re:Remind me why this is needed? (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 8 months ago | (#45454107)

I think the problem is that once someone is shot it is already too late. By making it illegal to aim a gun at someone or to carry a (loaded) gun in populated areas it is possible to stop someone before the actual shooting has taken place.

Funny, I can't think of a single time where someone pulled a gun on someone else, was stopped before shooting them, and then was let free because they broke no laws. I can't even think of a single time I heard a cop say "we wanted to take him down before he shot someone, but damn if he hadn't broken a law yet". Not even once.

Frankly I think the problem is people lack any interest in really understanding the causes of violence and instead just pick their favorite scapegoat out of paranoia and overactive imaginations.

Never mind that the only people who could be said to really be shooting at eachother with any regularity in the entire US are gang members, and occasionally, the police (or police and people's dogs maybe, but that conflict is kind of one sided).

But no clearly, guns are the problem and not the bad drug policy that funds the gangs, and had lead to the systematic disenfranchisement of entire swaths of communities. No lets focus on the symptom some more, guns are much easier to solve....in our imaginations.

For the prosecutors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453779)

Ever see charges brought up against someone?

It's always this huge list - and I saw a guy who was prosecuted for fighting and for every blow he landed, he was with assault and battery - all 10 times.

One fight - 10 counts of assault and battery

And of course, if you don't fall flat on your face, put your hands behind your back and cuff yourself, you will be charged with resisting arrest.

This is just another law to promote our incarceration-make everyone a criminal-industrial complex at work.

But it is sold to the ignorant public - with plenty of FEAR - that it is needed for their safety and their children's safety.

We can only hope that somehow the Tea Partiers tie this to Obama and the Republicans squash it - just for being something that Obama wants to do.

Schumer is Harvard educated. Between these asshole politicians (redundant, I know) and the MBA assholes (yes, another redundancy) they produce; why does Harvard have such a great reputation?

Re: For the prosecutors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45454065)

Exactly, another tool to use to pile on decades of prison time in exchange for a plea for a lesser sentence. See Aaron Scwartz.

Fools, their laws and old bumper stickers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453487)

When they ban (undetectable) guns, only (terrorists and) criminals will have (undetectable) guns.

huh? (2)

Titus Groan (2834723) | about 8 months ago | (#45453491)

I thought that the firing pin and the bullets were still metal and therefore detectable?

Re:huh? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 8 months ago | (#45453537)

Even at the time, the plastic guns they were trying to prevent from gaining wider acceptance still had quite a bit of metal in them beyond the firing pin and bullets and were thus easily detected.

Re:huh? (3, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | about 8 months ago | (#45453573)

They have been but one of the reasons for that was to comply with this law, which has now expired.

Trouble is if you are a criminal with the facility to print a weapon you what incentive do you have for not breaking one more law when you already are intent on committing a serious felony?

This is a prefect case of if you criminalize guns that undetectable by metal detectors than only criminals will have undetectable guns. Now mind you I can't think of to many reasons a non criminal *needs* a completely metal free gun; but as a practical matter I don't see what this really accomplishes. When the law was originally conceived it was to prevent the legitimate mass manufacture of such weapons which would have reduced the availability of them and that might have been societally useful; now that we are talking about a weapon the user is likely to produce themselves I am not sure what the point is.

I suppose its an extra change a prosecutor might be able to hang someone on, who has been able to evade other serious charges on technicalities though.

Re:huh? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 8 months ago | (#45453977)

The obvious use is that it is much easier to convict people of crimes they have committed as opposed to crimes the are intent on committing. Catching and convicting people for possessing drugs is much easier than for using drugs, hence we get laws against possessing drugs even though stopping drug use is the justification given.

Re:huh? (2)

multimediavt (965608) | about 8 months ago | (#45453671)

I thought that the firing pin and the bullets were still metal and therefore detectable?

You are correct, sir. That's why this hysteria is a little silly. The bullet casing would not only set off a metal detector it would show up in x-ray or body scanning machines as well. There is no place to hide the most dangerous part of a gun, the ammunition, so why worry about secured areas. The worst thing this bypasses is the background check and waiting period. Not to say that's not a concern, but a plastic gun that may fire one to eight bullets before being inert is no AK-47 or AR-15. In the grand scheme "real" guns still pose a greater risk to public safety.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453893)

One could design the gun to use a metal magazine which happens to be shaped like something innocent. The bullets would be harder to detect inside that.

Re:huh? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 8 months ago | (#45454123)

The bullet casing would not only set off a metal detector it would show up in x-ray or body scanning machines as well.

The millimeter wave scanning machines would pick up a completely plastic firearm (or knife) anyway. They picked up my boarding pass when I neglected to remove it from my pocket the last time I flew, which was home-printed on a regular piece of paper, using an inkjet printer. I think they've got plastic weapons covered....

"Undetectable" is a strong word (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 8 months ago | (#45453503)

If it is made of matter, it is detectable.

Re:"Undetectable" is a strong word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453547)

Please donate to my kickstarter project - a combination dark matter gun/anti-gravity shield.

Re:"Undetectable" is a strong word (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 8 months ago | (#45453801)

Indeed. Also a 100% plastic weapon will be detectable in an x-ray machine if it works - it requires strong plastics and thick walls to withstand the firing of only one bullet. High density, thick plastic is clearly visible in an x-ray machine. So in short: the weapon doesn't make a metal detector go off but will be easily detectable using x-ray. Bullets have to be made of plastics/ceramics too in order to smuggle a working solution on board. Or one could just buy a sturdy toothbrush cut it into two sharp parts and use a weak glue to hold the parts together. Done right it will not be detectable as anything but a toothbrush in x-ray while being sharp enough to kill someone. Oh and this weapon will have an ergonomic handle too ;)

Re:"Undetectable" is a strong word (1)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | about 8 months ago | (#45454041)

I believe by "undetectable" they mean something more like "indistinguishable from surrounding material using current techniques". But apparently even that seems questionable as a number of others in this thread have claimed that these things should still be showing up distinctly on x-ray.

Undetectable bullets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453505)

The guns are undetectable, but they won't do anything without undetectable bullets.
They should forbid undetectable bullets made from frozen water, wood, glass, recycled plastic bottles etc. But that is redundant anyway as shooting someone with those types of bullets is illegal anyway.

Bullets not guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453511)

The *bullet* is the real weapon, we talk about guns, but really you can set off a bullet without a gun. It is the projectile, it is the explosive, it is the payload, the gun is just a tube and a trigger mechanism.

So what are you printing when you print a gun? Just a shape.

Re:Bullets not guns (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#45453531)

I don't think that controlling the sale of bullets is going to fly in the current political landscape.

in b4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453585)

in b4 herp 2th amendment derp.

Strange definitions (1)

godrik (1287354) | about 8 months ago | (#45453603)

I don't know much about firearms, but I feel like plastic based guns are not really new. If you can enter a "high security area" with a plastic gun. Then maybe it is NOT a high security area...

Re:Strange definitions (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#45453655)

Do you want them to add strip-searches to concerts and courthouses in addition to the metal detector?

He needs to have the guts to go further (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45453609)

Venezuela enacted a complete gun ban several years ago. First they stopped sales of guns, then ammo, then banned ownership. Yes, people griped, but the results have been worth it. 1/1000 as much violent crime as they had before the ban. The streets are safe there.

Maybe Schumer should look at banning Glocks and other plastic firearms as well, the ones that are a constant menace to society.

Re:He needs to have the guts to go further (1)

McGruber (1417641) | about 8 months ago | (#45453713)

Venezuela enacted a complete gun ban several years ago. First they stopped sales of guns, then ammo, then banned ownership. Yes, people griped, but the results have been worth it. 1/1000 as much violent crime as they had before the ban. The streets are safe there.

Criminals don't need guns when the government is their partner in crime, at least when it comes to looting electronics retailers:

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/13/11/13/009248/venezuela-cheap-television-sets-for-all

Another "Hey, remember me?" event by a politician (1)

TrentTheThief (118302) | about 8 months ago | (#45453627)

The man is a moron who failed to research his latest publicity gambit.

Pronunciation Lesson (3, Funny)

McGruber (1417641) | about 8 months ago | (#45453681)

A New Yorker explained to me that, in NYC, the correct pronunciation is Schmuck Schumer.

The tool is being blamed again (2)

n2hightech (1170183) | about 8 months ago | (#45453743)

Better plastic guns can be built from blocks of plastic and hand tools then can be built using 3D printers. Why are they not freaking out about that. All these laws do is trip up good people exploring the capabilities of new technology. They do not address the issue of people wanting to use guns on others. We need to be addressing the issue of hate not method of gun construction.

The most important thing: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 8 months ago | (#45453793)

The really important thing about this silliness is it gets publicity and shows that the senator is protecting us all from this rather far fetched threat.

"Thank heaven Senator Snort made that law against space alien invasions, else Mars Attacks might have come true!"

The only thing better is if it can be framed as "Think of the children!"

Murder (1)

heezer7 (708308) | about 8 months ago | (#45453797)

I guess they better make that illegal too. Oh wait...

Gun question (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 8 months ago | (#45453833)

What are the bullets made of? Are they detectable? Also: Don't we need plastic guns if Magneto attacks?

Ceramic knives (0)

holophrastic (221104) | about 8 months ago | (#45454093)

The solution isn't to ban a perfectly reasonable way to create a usable tool. The solution is to require the plastic-pellet company to use an additive that x-ray machines can detect.

My ceramic kitchen knives, which need zero metal, have a slight amount of metal purely so that they do get detected by metal detectors -- touted as a future-proof feature for any eventual law.

Armed Drones (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about 8 months ago | (#45454109)

What's Senator Chuckles going to do when he learns that hobbyists can build armed drones? Crap himself to death out of fear?

He's an idiot (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 8 months ago | (#45454143)

First yes the gun may be undetectable but there are a few things it needs to be able to fire that are detectable. There needs to be a spring for the firing pin, the pin itself may be plastic but needs some type of device to make it detonate the primer cap. The bullet casings are also metal and will set off detectors.

So no Senator Idiot, what you have that is undetectable is a useless model of a gun. It would be more dangerous to print a 3d knife and sneak it in somewhere.
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