Schumer backs Rep. Israel's call to halt plastic guns made using 3-D printers

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses a news U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses a news conference in Washington. (July 25, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Sen. Charles Schumer said Monday he is putting his full support behind legislation aimed at stopping the production of undetectable plastic guns that can be made using relatively cheap 3-D printers.

A Texas-based libertarian group has successfully been able to produce a functioning plastic handgun using a 3-D printer that anyone could purchase, Schumer said. He said the group plans to post on the Internet how to go about making this cheap, but functioning weapon that could pass through metal detectors at airports and elsewhere.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is joining Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) who has pushed for new legislation in this area.

"Right now, if you are a terrorist, you can buy one of these 3-D printers and make guns," Schumer said. If you are a felon, you can make these guns. It's perfectly legal. We have to stop this."

Schumer said Israel first announced in December plans to introduce legislation to prohibit otherwise useful technology to be used in this manner.

Israel had said that a federal law, known as The Undetectable Firearms Act, was approved back in 1988 even though this type of technology was then largely seen only in "Star Trek"-type science fiction films.

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That law was renewed in 2003, but it expires in December.

When Israel announced his proposed legislation in December, Suffolk police Chief James Burke was at the news conference and said, "With the prices of these printers under $1,000, I think anyone can imagine the rise of an amateur gunmaker in our community."

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