Schumer pushes gun control extension

Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced a bill Thursday that would ban guns designed to escape detection by metal detectors.

S. 1774 would reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act, which first passed in 1988.

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Schumer tried to get unanimous consent to pass the bill Thursday evening, but Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) objected, saying it wasn’t a day to be passing any legislation. Earlier on Thursday, Democrats voted to limit the minority party’s rights to filibuster presidential nominees.

“This is not a good day to move forward with this legislation,” Sessions said. “We will be glad to give it serious attention. I know it is the kind of thing we probably can clear at some point, but I object.”

Sessions' office said he objected on behalf of other senators since the bill was introduced the same day and some Republicans had not had time to read it.

The legislation expires on Dec. 9 — the same day the Senate returns from a two-week recess.

Schumer said the bill was a clean one-year extension in order to avoid objections from Republicans, although he would have liked to add more gun control language to the bill.

“I hope as soon as we come back, we might get this body to pass it, and maybe get the House to pass it,” Schumer said. “We are in a dangerous world. To allow terrorists, criminals, those who are mentally infirm, to walk through metal detectors with guns that are made of plastic and then use them at airports, sporting events, and schools is a very bad thing.”

Schumer said the legislation was more important than ever because someone in Texas posted online how a plastic gun could be made with a $1,000 3-D printer.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Friday that there were no reasons for senators to stand in the way of this legislation.

“Nothing about this simple and common-sense legislation requires even a moment’s delay or debate,” Blumenthal said. “Hidden, undetectable firearms serve no purpose other than to make it easier for criminals to take lives. Delaying these protections simply puts innocent American lives at risk.”

Earlier this year, Senate Republicans filibustered Democrats' efforts to pass gun control reforms that would have required background checks on all firearm purchases.