Push to block 3-D plastic guns - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Push to block 3-D plastic guns

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WESTPORT, CT (WFSB) -

New technology is posing a very real security threat.

A plastic gun initially unveiled last year is back in the spotlight after researchers now confirm it can fire real bullets.

"A felon, a terrorist, can make a gun in the comfort of their home not even leaving their home and do terrible damage with it," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

Schumer is referring to plastic guns that fire .380 caliber bullets and can be made from 3-D printers.

"Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who's mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon can essentially open a gun factory in their garage," Schumer said. "And, the only thing they need a computer and a little over a thousand dollars. No background check and you don't even need to leave your house to make hundreds of these guns."

Right now, manufacturing them is completely legal because the current Undetectable Weapons Act, which expires at the end of the year, doesn't cover materials printed by a 3-D printer.

Experts said the materials will pop out of the printer as long as it can read a blueprint.

But the fact is, these guns are expensive and run upwards of $7,000 for the materials.

A maker would need to go through the task of finding a 3-D printer, but in Connecticut it may be easier than you think. There's a 3-D printer for public use at the Westport Public Library.

Local senators are also joining the uproar, pledging to stop it.

"In an age when these guns are easier than ever to make - with technology giving dangerous individuals the ability to produce them at home quickly and cheaply - the Undetectable Firearms Act is more important than ever," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal in a statement to Eyewitness News.

And Blumenthal's colleague, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, agreed with him.

"In an age when these guns are easier than ever to make - with technology giving dangerous individuals the ability to produce them at home quickly and cheaply - the Undetectable Firearms Act is more important than ever," Murphy said in a statement.

Lawmakers realize they need to act fast because the developer of this gun, Defense Distributed, plans to put the blueprint for the gun online.

"The plans being available for free is frightening," said Holly Tenerowicz, of New Hartford. "It's a concern."

Connecticut residents told Eyewitness News that they are concerned with the ease of making a plastic gun.

"There goes the whole little idea of little kids with plastic guns being harmless," Tenerowicz said. "Now you've got a whole other realm where it's shooting real bullets."

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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