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U.S. Senate Quietly Adds Permanent Gun Control Law Into 2024 NDAA Authorization

Republicans and Democrats are reportedly working together to end the sunset provision on a law gun rights orgs call 'a backdoor gun ban'

As Congress begins consideration of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Senate leaders are attempting to quietly slip in gun control legislation.

The discovery was made by the Second Amendment advocacy group Gun Owners of America, who combed through the text and found an amendment inserted into the bill that would indefinitely authorize the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.

According to a version of the proposed NDAA bill dated July 13, the amendment introduced by Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) would end the sunset provision on the 1988 law, which criminalizes firearms unable to be detected by metal detectors and x-ray machines commonly used at airports.

Though the provision was introduced by a Democrat, gun rights organizations say that Republicans are also involved in the effort to permanently codify the gun control law.

Reed’s amendment is in line with a fact sheet released by the Biden administration in March of this year, stating that the White House would direct the U.S. Attorney General to “help Congress modernize and make permanent the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988, which is currently set to expire in December 2023.”

The U.S. Senate is expected to proceed to roll call votes on amendments to the NDAA today, according to the Senate Periodical Press Gallery.

Gun rights advocates say the law is intended to impact individuals who want to own lawfully obtained 3D printed firearms and “ghost guns” that the government has a more difficult time regulating.

“What does it mean for a firearm to be ‘undetectable?’ Some headlines suggest that 3D printed firearms are undetectable, as they are primarily made of polymer materials, not metal. Others warn about scary-sounding ‘ghost guns’ that cannot be traced by law enforcement due to a lack of a serial number,” the National Firearm Industry Trade Association (NSSF) said in a statement about undetectable firearms.

The organization says that even despite the fact that 3D printing guns is a “high cost, limited production technology that does not present a public safety risk,” it is already illegal under federal law to manufacture, sell, possess or transfer undetectable firearms.

“Even firearms produced with 3D printing technology are required to include a component made of metal, and hence detectable by metal detectors and x-ray machines,” NSSF writes. “In addition, ammunition cartridges are made with metal components that are detectable. Of course, even without metal components, current Transportation Security Agency (TSA) screening machines will detect an object, regardless of its composition.”

Gun Owners of America (GOA) released a statement on Twitter saying that permanently extending the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 would allow the Biden administration the ability to potentially enact gun bans more sweeping than pistol braces, as well as eliminate accountability if the statute is weaponized by the government.

The organization says the law is “a backdoor gun ban” that has been an infringement on constitutional rights since its inception.

“BACKGROUND: The Undetectable Firearms Act, was passed in 1988 in response to no particular threat and has been useless during its 35 years of existence,” GOA wrote. “However, it affects every polymer firearm and does pose a threat to gun owners legally owned firearms.”

GOA also stated that the substitute amendment is being added to the NDAA because congressional representatives are scared to take a clean vote for or against the legislation.

John Crump, an instructor with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and constitutional activist, says that technological advancements over the last decade have scared anti-gun activists, including those within the Biden administration.

“Reauthorizing the Undetectable Firearms Act will give those that want to shut down innovation a tool to weaponize to prevent the incredible innovation of 3D-printed guns,” Crump explained in an op-ed about the NDAA amendment.

“Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is busy working with Republicans behind the scenes in the Senate to get the bill’s reauthorization attached to the NDAA, and it looks like it might have some bi-partisan support. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for a vote on ‘Cloture’ Monday [night] at 5:30 PM EDT. The vote will limit the debate to 30 hours,” he continued.

“After the clock runs out, the Senate could vote on the amendment,” Crump wrote. “Since the NDAA in the House of Representatives will conflict with the Senate version, the two sides will hold a conference to work out the differences. Both chambers will still have to pass the reconciled NDAA.”

He added, “Anti-gun astroturfing campaigns are already busy lobbying Congress to reauthorize an act that can stifle innovation from the next generation of firearms designers.”

Gun Owners of America is urging people to call their House representatives and senators to oppose the reauthorization of the 1988 bill.

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