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Bipartisan Undetectable Firearms Act – For The First Time In A Decade Could Expire In Less Than One Month – Threatening Safety Of Courthouses, Sporting Events, Concerts, Airports, And More By Making Fully-Plastic Guns — That Could Slip Through First Line Defenses Like Metal Detectors And X-Rays —Legal

Schumer: Keeping Fully-Plastic Undetectable Ghost Guns Illegal Is Commonsense, And Congress Must Act Now To Keep These Deadly Weapons Off Our Streets

Standing with Onondaga County criminal prosecutors, Onondaga County Sheriffs, City of Syracuse police officers and local public officials, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today revealed that, for the first time in a decade, the key federal provision that makes fully-plastic undetectable ghost guns illegal is set to expire next month. 

Schumer is now launching his push to reauthorize the bipartisan Undetectable Firearms Act to ensure undetectable, fully-plastic guns remain illegal and stop a potential influx of these weapons on the streets of New York. Schumer said that allowing this law to lapse would create a terrifying new reality of legally-made plastic firearms that could slip through metal detectors and other security, putting law enforcement and communities across America at risk.

“Fully-plastic, undetectable guns —which slip through metal detectors with no one the wiser — should be illegal. But, for the first time in a decade, the bipartisan Undetectable Firearms Act that helps keep these undetectable ghost guns out of the market could expire in just a few weeks. This is sounding the alarm and making everyone from law enforcement, the first line of defense in protecting communities from these weapons, to sports stadiums that house hundreds of thousands nervous. If the legislation lapses, we could see a surge of these undetectable guns, which would increase security risks at places with large crowds, like concerts and football games. This is a scary new reality to imagine – We already saw that TSA—with metal detectors—found nearly 7,000 firearms at airports last year – an all-time high,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am launching my push to extend this commonsense, bipartisan measure to keep these undetectable, dangerous ghost guns illegal.”

“All elected federal and state officials swear an oath to defend the Constitution including the Second Amendment. That doesn’t mean we have signed on to a suicide pact. No responsible government should allow undetectable weapons to be brought into concerts, houses of worship or airplanes to allow those who wish us ill to maximize the pain and destruction they want to inflict upon us. I applaud Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for being here today to encourage Congress to act in a bipartisan manner in supporting this crucial and common-sense piece of legislation,” said William J. Fitzpatrick, Onondaga County District Attorney.

"Whether used for good or evil, technological advancements move at faster speeds than ever before. After SPD found a 3D printer actively printing a firearm during a search last year, there is no doubt in my mind that one of law enforcement’s biggest future challenges will be 3D printed guns, and our difficulty in detecting them before they are used for evil purposes. I applaud Senator Schumer for his proactive efforts to stay one step ahead of these challenges, not only for the safety of the community we serve, but also for the safety of the officers who serve," said Joseph Cecile, Chief of Police, Syracuse Police Department.

“The brave men and women of the Syracuse Police Department work 24/7 to tackle the toughest public safety issues facing our community. There is no issue more challenging than gun violence, and the proliferation of untraceable and undetectable firearms has made the job more dangerous than ever,” said Mayor of Syracuse Ben Walsh. “That is why I am proud to stand united with Majority Leader Schumer, SPD, and law enforcement officials from across the county to support Congress reauthorization of the undetectable firearms act. On behalf of the City of Syracuse, I applaud Senator Schumer for his leadership on this critical issue, and for his dedication to the safety and security of our families, friends, neighbors, and law enforcement personnel.”

Schumer explained since 1988, the Undetectable Firearms Act has prohibited guns that don’t set off metal detectors or x-ray scanners, including those printed by a 3-D printer, by mandating that every gun include approximately 4 ounces of metal, a small but critical provision ensuring these guns set off walk-through metal detectors and wands like those found at airports, federal courthouses, government buildings, sporting events, and concerts. Schumer explained this key legislation, along with Syracuse’s dedicated police department and local leaders, have kept these deadly weapons illegal for over 35 years, but if Congress does not act soon, in less than one month, on March 8th, the legislation will expire and having an undetectable firearm will no longer be federally criminalized.

Schumer said the possibility of this key legislation expiring for the first time in over 35 years has created cause for serious concern. Law enforcement and police, TSA, public venues, and sports leagues have all voiced their concerns about what might happen if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act. Watching a football game in a stadium, flying home to visit family, attending a concert—things that Americans do every day—will become much more dangerous as law enforcement would be forced to take months or even years to develop new ways to detect these nearly impossible to identify guns. Schumer said this would be a huge problem, and scary reality, for Central New York communities, where it would be legal to carry a fully plastic gun into a movie theater, Syracuse’s JMA Wireless Dome, or Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

Schumer explained without an extension of the Undetectable Firearms Act, production and manufacturing of these dangerous ‘ghost guns’ would also likely ramp up, meaning more of these weapons would be available for purchase and people would have easier access to obtain them, leading to higher numbers of undetectable firearms in communities, which would pose a serious public safety threat to Central New York. 

Schumer said extending this legislation should be a no-brainer, but a small group of hard-right House Republicans are currently going all out to try to help make these undetectable ‘ghost guns’ legal for the first time. The Senate passed a permanent reauthorization of the Undetectable Firearms Act on a strong bipartisan basis (86 – 11) back in July 2023 as part of the annual defense authorization bill. However, the House did not include that provision in the defense bill’s final passage. The Senator said he is going all out to help renew this vital provision which has widespread support, on both sides of the aisle, and said renewing the Act is the best way to prevent undetectable firearms from getting into the everyday areas of communities.