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Congress extends plastic gun ban

6:32 PM, Dec 9, 2013   |    comments
In this May 10, 2013 photo, Cody Wilson holds what he calls a Liberator pistol that was completely made on a 3-D-printer at his home in Austin, Texas.(Photo: Jay Janner, AP)
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WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- The U.S. Senate approved a 10-year extension of a federal law banning guns that can go undetected by metal detectors or X-ray machines. The law was scheduled to expire today.

The Senate approved without objection the extension of the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act following a last ditch effort by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to expand the scope of the law. Schumer said the law should be updated to account for 3-D printing technology, which can produce solid objects out of digital models and did not exist commercially when the law was first enacted.

The gun rights lobby and congressional Republicans did not support expanding the law, and Democrats agreed to a simple extension so as not to risk the law's expiration. The House approved the 10-year extension last week; President Obama is expected to sign it.

It is the only gun legislation to pass the 113th Congress, and the only action on gun legislation expected before the 2014 midterm elections.

"We should be embarrassed by the fact that we're not doing more to try to stem the scourge of gun violence that plagues our nation today," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. The one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings-which sparked calls for a national review of existing gun laws at the beginning of this Congress-is on Saturday.

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