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Congress Renews Ban On Plastic Weapons

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida talk to reporters about their effort to renew the ban on plastic firearms, at the Capitol on Monday.

Congress voted to renew a ban on plastic firearms that can skirt airport detectors, but Republican lawmakers blocked efforts to tighten the restrictions.

The Senate approved the measure by a voice vote hours before it would have expired at midnight. The House voted last week to renew the ban.

As The Associated Press reports:

"GOP senators rejected an effort by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to strengthen the ban by requiring that such weapons contain undetachable metal parts. Some plastic guns meet the letter of the current law with a metal piece that can be removed, making them a threat to be slipped past security screeners at schools, airports and elsewhere."

The Christian Science Monitor writes:

"Monday's vote to extend the prohibition on plastic guns for another decade responds to a growing threat from steadily improving 3-D printers that can produce such weapons. But gun control advocates seem sure to lose an effort to impose additional, tougher restrictions on plastic firearms -- a harsh reminder of their failure to enact any new federal gun curbs in the year since 20 first-graders and six educators were murdered in Newtown, Conn."

According to the AP:

"The National Rifle Association, which has been instrumental in blocking gun restrictions, expressed no opposition to renewing the law. But the gun lobby said it would fight any expanded requirements, including Schumer's, 'that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights' to bear arms."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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