A test of a printed plastic lower firearm receiver has resulted in an anti-gun politician demanding renewal of a law against a gun that does not exist, Live Science reported today, citing a call by Rep. Steve Israel, D- N.Y., to renew “the federal ban on plastic guns just days after members of the ‘Wiki Weapon’ project tested a 3D-printed gun part in a live-fire test.”
“Congress passed a law banning plastic guns for two decades, when they were just a movie fantasy,” Israel stated in a Friday press release. “With the advent of 3-D printers these guns are suddenly a real possibility, but the law Congress passed is set to expire next year.” The “Undetectable Firearms Act” Israel refers to was itself passed as an overreaction to manufactured anti-gun fears at the time.
“The hysteria over ‘plastic guns’ arose in the mid-1980s when the Austrian company Glock began exporting pistols to the United States,” economist, author and commentator John Lott observed. “They were labeled ‘terrorist specials by the press, and fear spread that their plastic frame and grip would make them invisible to metal detectors.
“Nobody mentioned that there was over one pound of metal in them,” Lott explained. “Try going through an airport detector with that. In fact, no working guns have ever been produced without at least some metal and nobody has even shown that such guns can be made.”
In spite of that reality, and in spite of earlier public opposition, alternative legislation to ban the fantasy weapon was introduced by an ostensibly “pro-gun” Republican and endorsed by the National Rifle Association – the same group “gun control” proponents accuse of never giving an inch. (Note: the McClure bill died, but he co-sponsored the bill “conservative” icon (and “gun control” supporter Ronald Reagan signed into law.)
Even with this latest technological breakthrough — which failed in half-a-dozen shots – the fears of 1988 have still not been actualized, nor are they likely to be anytime soon.
“A fully 3D-printable gun made of plastic would also need the strength to contain the force from each shot’s gunpowder explosion that propels bullets forward,” the Live Science article clarifies. “A plastic gun that could reliably do that has eluded the U.S. military and gun manufacturers for decades.”
Even the Wiki Weapon project’s stated goal, to “produce and publish a file for a completely printable gun,” qualifies the rhetoric with the reality by acknowledging they’ll settle for “as near to completely printable as actually possible with current technologies.”
Being lost in all the noise is the fact that non-metal (polymer) lower receivers are not new, and are commercially available. No one has suggested that they fall afoul of the 1988 law, because they don’t, so Rep. Israel’s agenda is obviously not to keep someone from slipping through airport security with an “invisible” gun, meaning his bait and switch intent is to further close off technology to all but an approved class, with all the opportunities for failure and corruption that implies.
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