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Sen. Chuck Schumer Seeks To Extend Ban On 'Undetectable' 3D-Printed Guns 550

Posted by timothy
from the reliable-chuck-grinds-his-axes-on-guns dept.
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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Sen. Chuck Schumer Seeks To Extend Ban On 'Undetectable' 3D-Printed Guns

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  • by landofcleve (1959610) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:10AM (#45453437)
    From those who kill it in the name of defending it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:20AM (#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

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:27AM (#45453527) Homepage

    +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.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:53AM (#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.

  • by Jhon (241832) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:03AM (#45453813) Homepage Journal

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

  • Gun question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:06AM (#45453833) Homepage

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

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:06AM (#45453837) Homepage

    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)?

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:14AM (#45453895) Homepage

    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!)

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms.infamous@net> on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:33AM (#45454067) Homepage

    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.

  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@noSPAM.carpanet.net> on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:37AM (#45454107) Homepage

    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.

  • by Jhon (241832) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:46AM (#45454213) Homepage Journal

    Ok. Lets have that conversation. I notice you don't mention schools. How effective have those bans been for schools?

    Many of the mass shootings were in "gun free zones". Ok, lets suppose there was no 'force of law' behind that. Would that have made a difference if there were? If so, why hasn't it with schools?

    Banning guns will not work in our culture. Even supposing you can "ban" all guns, the shear volume of guns in the wild will assure there presence indefinitely. Remember, with a modest amount of care, guns can last centuries. "Attrition" just isn't an option.

    Find another solution.

  • Chuck Schumer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday November 18, 2013 @10:52AM (#45454275)

    Can't we all agree that when certain political figures speak (Chuck Schumer, Sarah Palin, Nancy Palosi, Charlie Rangle, Michele Bachmann, etc) that we should just all collectively plug our ears and say "Nanananananana" as the thing they are about to say is likely an appeal to the citizens of our country with IQ's bellow 90, to reduce our freedoms, increase government power and generally bring ruin to the country in the name of some un-realized threat that sounds scary but could never really cause us much harm?

    Chuck Schumer is either:
    a. an idiot and does not realize he can not stop home made weapons, they've existed since the country was founded, there's just a slightly new method.
    b. fully aware that this legislation is pointless and is just pandering to make headline with whatever made up fear 20/20 came up with for this week.

  • by operagost (62405) on Monday November 18, 2013 @11:01AM (#45454373) Homepage Journal

    Those are private property, and private property owners are free to allow or prohibit firearms.

    How long is that going to last when property owners aren't allowed to sell 16 ounce sodas or allow smoking?

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Monday November 18, 2013 @11:05AM (#45454423)

    Making a gun is relatively easy compared to making your own gunpowder

    Says someone who has never made either.

    Making either gunpowder or smokeless powder is dangerous. You could easily kill yourself being careless while doing so.

    That said, it's not really all that hard - don't make a spark and/or use the usual handling precautions for nitric and sulfuric acid, and you're golden.

    As to primers, it should be noted that they were mass-produced with 1850's technology - it's just not that difficult, if you know how.

  • by Dareth (47614) on Monday November 18, 2013 @11:38AM (#45454785)

    They should just make killing people illegal. Surely that will stop someone from using any weapon to do it because criminals always obey the law.

  • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Monday November 18, 2013 @11:38AM (#45454795) Journal

    I love the quote of "anyone with $1,000 and an internet connection can access the plastic parts that can be fitted into a gun."

    Anyone with $1,000 and an internet connection can get a gun made of good 'ol steel, which would perform massively better. In fact, you don't even need the $1,000. $500 would get you a very nice handgun in a private party sale.

  • by Jhon (241832) on Monday November 18, 2013 @12:34PM (#45455289) Homepage Journal

    "It is possible to make background checks and document weapon sales."
    This is already done. It's been ineffectual.

    "It is possible to impose limitations on the purchaser of such weapons to mitigate the risk their tools pose to the community."
    This is already done. It's been ineffectual.

    "It is possible to limit the characteristics of privately-owned weapons."
    This is already done. It's been ineffectual.

    "Rational people can understand that there are multiple, legitimate perspectives on the question, and that allows a dialog capable of finding balance among the opposing views. "
    Agreed. However, when what has been done in the past has been ineffectual, how does 'doubling down' on an ineffective policy help move the ball?

    Further, we cannot and should not legislate from passion. To pass laws after a "tragedy" inflames the passions of people only serves to enact extreme laws.

    Maybe -- just MAYBE we can talk about ANOTHER approach.

  • You seem to suffer form the simple minded idea that criminals are 'all in'. That if they will commit one crime, then they will commit any crime.

    They are not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2013 @12:44PM (#45455385)

    Smoking is different, when used properly and as intended, your smoking harms the person next to you.

    Your smoking harms the person next to you, yes, but they're only there on that particular piece of private property voluntarily, so if they want to avoid secondhand smoke, they can leave.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday November 18, 2013 @12:56PM (#45455499)

    Anyone with $1,000 and an internet connection can get a gun made of good 'ol steel, which would perform massively better. In fact, you don't even need the $1,000. $500 would get you a very nice handgun in a private party sale.

    $500? Try about $200 [firearmspriceguide.com] for an older six-shot revolver. And as far as 'untraceable' goes... this senator clearly is a total retard when it comes to understanding forensics. First, ballistics analysis becomes significantly more inaccurate with each shot; So unless you fire the gun during a crime, and then don't fire it again until they recover it, ballistics won't be of much help in a prosecution. They'll be able to throw up a lot of circumstantial evidence, but a good lawyer can put a pin in that easily enough. Secondly, most guns sold today do have serial numbers, and that's probably what he was referring to. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers put that serial number on in a way that is forensically recoverable after it is filed off or removed. If it is stamped; that is, imprinted, then it likely is. But if the serial number is raised/embossed, then forget it. Many are stamped, but not all are. Especially not older guns. As well, it's typically only the receiver that is stamped with a serial number, as this is what the law considers the actual 'firearm' part of the gun. However, depending again on make and model, a receiver is not difficult to construct from equipment available at your hardware store -- and yes, for less than $1000 too.

    His argument doesn't hold water. The problem with 3D printers is that it would put a lot of businesses, well, out of business. And the biggest potential buyers of 3D printers is actually your local hardware and auto stores that right now have to pay a small fortune (which then you get to as well) ordering specialty parts out of a catalog. The entire after-market auto parts empire would deflate to maybe half its size if people could just bring in the broken part, and the store scans it in, or finds a match in a database, and then fires up the printer. 1 hour later, viola -- you have yourself a new plastic part for your car. And it doesn't cost you $60, but maybe $15 instead.

    This, right here, is why this senator is pushing it. Lending credence to this theory -- look at some of his other proposals: backup cams [senate.gov] in all cars, a bill to ban rental cars [senate.gov], extensive markings and ID on parts [sunycnse.com], and the list goes on. A quick look at his campaign contributors is all the more proof you need .. he's a paid shill for the auto industry.

    Oh yes, firearms bad. 3d printers, terrorism, blah blah. The truth: It would put a big dent in the profits of the people writing his paycheck -- auto parts manufacturers.

  • Finland (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday November 18, 2013 @01:55PM (#45455955) Journal

    In nearly all of Europe after WWII there were guns, grenades, and explosives all over the place. They seem to have done a good job at makine most (but not all) of them go away and not be widely available

    You've never been to Finland, have you?

  • Many assumptions in those questions:

    1) He has to justify his carry. He does not.
    2) He feels he needs to. He did not say that, he said he was carrying. One does not "need" in order to excercise a right
    3) He fears for his safety. I see no indication of fear. I suspect, rather, that he does NOT fear for his safety. Once again, fear of safety is not a requirement to excercise a right.
    4) He lives somewhere where it is necessary to keep a firearm and ammo while working in an office environment. See above, a firearm being "necessary" is not a requirement for carry if you live in an area that is open carry, '"must issue", or no permit required.

    I do however sense you projecting your own fears into the questions. I may be wrong, but if not it's ok. Make you a deal -- I have found that most folks who are "afraid" of guns & people who carry are those that have the least exposure. Actually, this is common in almost all fears. If you are near, I'll take you out, show you some basics, let you fire a few rounds from a variety of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. I'm not saying I can or will change your feelings, but at least I'll know that you are basing those on education, exposure, and experience rather than what you've heard or seen. Message me if you want to take me up on that.

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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