“Modernized” Undetectable Firearms Bill Would Outlaw Glocks, Many Rifles

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)-

Senator Nelson from Florida has filed a restrictive bill that would stifle innovation and experimentation, without significantly impacting terrorists or criminals. Interestingly, a complete exemption would be included for the U.S. government and agencies. The bill is titled the “Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act of 2017“.

Nelson mis-characterizes the state of the art with this falsehood:

“Thanks to advances in technology, anyone with a 3-D printer can simply print a fully-functioning firearm that can be snuck through a metal detector without being noticed,” Nelson said. “These guns pose a real threat to our safety and we need to be doing everything we can to keep them off the streets and out of the hands of those who wish to do harm.”

I would like to see Senator Nelson back up his claim with a demonstration.  Even the plastic replica found at the Reno airport, was detected because of the metal in the *ammunition*.  Even Defense Distributed used a metal firing pin in the design of its “Liberator” pistol.  Senator Nelson cited the non-firing replica from Reno in his announcement.

Both lawmakers cite an August incident where TSA Agents at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport found and confiscated a plastic gun from a passenger’s carry-on bag during screening. The gun, assembled using a 3-D printer, was found loaded with five live .22 caliber bullets.

The plastic copy was known to be a non-firing replica by August 9th.   From kolotv.com:

One of 68 firearms discovered in carry-on bags nationally the week ending August 4, 2016, the TSA says it was a realistic replica, loaded with live ammunition.

The TSA says the passenger was offered the option of checking the item in carry-on baggage, but chose to leave it behind. The passenger was not arrested or cited, and continued to his flight with no impact to airport operations.

Nelson and Schumer's statement was made in March of 2017.

Currently, the first part of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 is this:

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm— (A) that, after removal of grips, stocks, and magazines, is not as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by walk-through metal detectors calibrated and operated to detect the Security Exemplar;

The Nelson bill would change that paragraph to this, bold added for emphasis:

 (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm— (A) that, after removal of all parts other than a major component, is not as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by walk-through metal detectors calibrated and operated to detect the Security Exemplar;

If you remove *all parts* other than a major component, only a major component is left to detect.  Words mean things in the law, and the phrase in bold is not equivalent to “all parts other than all major components”, even though the difference is only two letters.

Such a requirement would outlaw all composite frames on the market today.  Glock frames and most Glock type frames would be outlawed.  Virtually all composite AR type lower receivers would be outlawed.  The law could be a sneak attack or simply a result of ignorance on the part of Senator Nelson and the other famously anti-Second Amendment co-sponsors.

It will be interesting to see if Senator Nelson uses images of the non-firing replica from Reno to bolster his bill.

It seems unlikely that Nelson's bill will find much support in a Trump administration with a Republican Congress.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 33 thoughts on ““Modernized” Undetectable Firearms Bill Would Outlaw Glocks, Many Rifles

    1. Come on Dean, aren’t you being a little bit sensational? So you are saying that a barrel, slide, bolt carrier are not “major components? And, if my memory serves me correctly, the fire control group of a polymer framed pistol, which one I can’t remember, is considered the “firearm” part of the gun not the frame inside of which it fits. I don’t care for restrictions but hyping stuff up doesn’t do any good either.

      1. He is correct to note the threat. If a member of Congress doesn’t get any objection to a bill it may become law. It would not surprise me if some legislator seeks to outlaw Elder wands.

      2. Regardless of how you label one part or another the real point is that the legislation is oppressive and stifles innovation not to mention being completely unnecessary. Far more effective would be to allow all law abiding citizens the ability and means to defend themselves ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.

      3. You know how the attorney general of Massachusetts unilaterally banned most semi auto rifles by reinterpreting an existing law?
        You don’t think this poorly written, ignorant law will be misused at any point in the future?

        1. The funny thing about the MA AG’s “editorial” in the Boston Globe (where she made her announcement that she was going to “properly interpret” the law) is that she declared the “cosmetic” features of an “assault weapon” to be irrelevant to the lethality of the firearm; whereas the Fourth Circuit, less than a year later, declared those features to make “assault weapons” particularly lethal, and thus only suitable for the military (which, ironically, violated the precedent from Miller).

          Moral of the story is: it’s hard to keep your story straight when you’re lying or pig ignorant…or both.

      4. The major component of any firearm is the frame or receiver; many of which today are made from polymers. Fire control groups, stocks, upper receivers, slides, barrels, etc. are not considered to be major components of firearms.
        They can be bought and sold without background checks. They can be bought and sold online and delivered to your door.
        Perhaps you should educate yourself before accusing other people of “hype”.

    2. What he is saying is that it does not say all major posts. It says any major part. Eg a polymer lower is a major part of an ar. They could select that part as unacceptable and forbid transporting polymer lower ARs even though the rest of ar could easily be detected.

    3. You gotta wonder if these ‘politicians’ just file new bills in order to show their Liberal constituents they’re at work?

    4. Yet another crackpot attempt at doing away with the rights, liberty’s, and freedoms of the American people that would do nothing but have an effect on the law abiding.

    5. Sen Nelson is regularly listed among the top three or four dumbasses in the Senate as assessed by the staffers. Remember, elected office — no IQ test required.

    6. Bill Nelson is a fraud, he has been living off the public in Florida for over 30 years, time for this useless democrat to be voted out of office. I have been voting against him since he was the Florida Fire Marshall, he has never held a job other than government.

      1. What about his vast experience as an astronaut! Nelson got a ride years ago because of his position in the House of Representatives, and has since touted he background as an astronaut in every election. While technically correct, many Florida voters think he was part of the elite NASA team rather than a politician cashing in on his position.

    7. Nelson has outlived his mental ability by several decades, but keeps getting re-elected by the snowflake snowbird morons in South Florida; Rubio is better by a HUGE amount when compared to Nelson. I have voted AGAINST Nelson in every election since I’ve lived in Florida.

    8. This is nothing more than a liberal attempt to ban any firearm, if they can ban any firearm they eventually can ban most of them or maybe all? I don’t think Dean is over hyping anything, I am reminded of the old joke about how do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time!

    9. May I make a suggestion ? This is so simple why haven’t we thought of this before. All persons who don’ t want to live under the constitution as written, all persons who don’t want to become citizens, all persons who don’t want to be law abiding should simply be deported and who cares where to!

    10. I’d like to see everyone who sponsors such a bill be forced to live in Chicago for the length of term they were elected. maybe that’d smarten them up, even though they say you can’t fix stupid. Actually that isn’t true, if we “fixed” stupid now, we could prevent them from reproducing.

    11. Bill Nelson used to be a Patriot! Now He’s just beyond needing retirement and gone BRAIN DEAD IMBECILE Liberal! Someone please take his seat at the Senate!

      1. Didn’t catch his name but one of the republican representatives from Florida is working on a bill to bring term limits about. He believes Trump supports it and he could get it to a vote. If he can get it to a vote he believes it will be difficult for republicans to vote against.

    12. Just listen to him try to speak publicly, he sounds like his elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top. He has to follow someone or he wouldn’t know which way to go. Pelose is his mentor.

    13. Write Senator Nelson, at least he is one of the few that has an email contact system that does not restrict contact to just people in their district.

    14. What do you expect from Senator Nelson who is a Demo-Shat … they call republicans and conservatives conspiracy theorists when they are the ones making crazy laws that the average criminal laughs at and commits the crime anyway.

    15. As a constituent of Senator Nelson’s (no I didn’t vote for him, nor am I ever likely, even in the event by some miracle hell should freeze over) I can honestly say truly his ignorance is only eclipsed by the senility that man continues to exhibit. Who knew you could make jack-wagon a career.

    16. Years ago I was returning to D.C. from N.O. with a large frozen Redfish a friend had given me. I was carrying it in my carry-on baggage. The skeleton was clearly visible on the scanner, much to my and the agents’ amusement. As far as I know, fish don’t have metallic skeletons, but the entire skeleton was clearly visible. So I have a hard time understanding the allegation that there is some gun that would be undetectable in an airport scanner, even if the metal parts were removed.

    17. This guy is an idiot and the people who voted for him are even more idiotic. Undetectable? Me thinks not, there are springs, bullets, and steel components galore in a firearm, we all know that these components are necessary for the firearm to function. Why do politicians continuously make themselves look stupid?.

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