(WASHINGTON) — The Senate extended an existing ban on plastic firearms for an additional 10 years Monday just days before the one year anniversary of the deadly massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.
The Senate voted by unanimous consent Monday to renew the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988, which prohibits the possession of undetectable firearms, including plastic weapons that are printed using 3D technology which are capable of being undetected in metal detectors or x-ray machines. The House of Representatives passed the extension last week.
The bill was extended two other times since being enacted in 1988, and it was set to expire Monday.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced his own version of the bill which would have authorized the extension for only one year, but Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, blocked proceeding to Schumer’s plan.
While it is not a new piece of legislation, the passage of the plastic firearms ban serves as a reminder of Congress’ inability to pass new gun control legislation this year in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 students and six educators.
“It should be a sort of great embarrassment to the United States Senate and the House of Representatives that we have not moved the ball forward one inch when it comes to protecting the thousands of people all across this country who are killed by guns every year,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., claimed.
After the mass shooting last December, President Obama vowed Congress would strengthen gun control legislation, including bills to strengthen background checks and ban assault weapons. The Senate took up the measures, along with plans to strengthen mental health care, last April, but the legislation failed to secure the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle.
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