NRA Breaks Its Silence on Undetectable Firearms Act. Reauthorization Yes. Expansion No.

Liberator pistol (courtesy

Press release from the IRA-ILA [via]:

With the expiration of the so-called Undetectable Firearms Act (UFA) rapidly approaching on December 9th, misinformation over this issue and NRA’s position on it has unfortunately reached a heightened level . . .

We would like to make our position clear.  The NRA strongly opposes ANY expansion of the Undetectable Firearms Act, including applying the UFA to magazines, gun parts, or the development of new technologies.  The NRA has been working for months to thwart expansion of the UFA by Senator Chuck Schumer and others.  We will continue to aggressively fight any expansion of the UFA or any other proposal that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights.

Unlike the Schumer proposal, the vote today in the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 3626, sponsored by Rep. Howard Coble, is a simple 10-year reauthorization — NOT an expansion — of current law.  Other than extending the sunset date, H.R. 3626 makes no changes whatsoever to the underlying act.

Some groups have been circulating misinformation in order to create confusion over today’s House vote.  To be clear, Rep. Coble’s bill DOES NOT expand current law in any way, as Sen. Schumer’s proposal would do.

Again, the NRA strongly opposes any expansion of the Undetectable Firearms Act.  By simply reauthorizing current law, however, H.R. 3626 does not expand the UFA in any way.


  1. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

    Yes, it’s a useless piece of legislation that should never have existed. And yes, there are MUCH more important battles to be fighting right now. Carry on.

    1. avatar eric cartman says:

      you are wrong. every fight matters. if they see we are willing to compromise on one front then they will be embolden on others.

      1. I am not sure if it really is compromise to renew a 25-year-old law that hasn’t really had an effect on anything for another 10-years. Seems more like accepting a no-harm status-quo instead of allowing a debate on outlawing p-mags. You would prefer p-mags be outlawed?

      2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

        When was there a time when the anti’s were not emboldened? They’re always on the march toward civilian disarmament no matter what. So let’s not plan around their supposed shifting feelings or intentions, as they’re unchanging.

        This is a hold position over a non-issue which costs us nothing. Better to save scarce resources for more meaningful fights with substantive gains at stake. But you’re certainly free to build your own multimillion dollar lobbying organization and do it your way if you wish.

      3. avatar bontai Joe says:

        Eric, you are right, every battle matters, and in a perfect world, we should fight this 100%. But it comes down to resources. Using money, time and energy to fight this when Schumer and others are pushing much worse crap down the pipeline may not be worthwhile. Stepping on ants when there is a bear attacking isn’t necessarily the best way to fight.

        1. avatar Pete says:

          Yeah I gotta agree with that. It galls though. Where’s that perfect world. :p

        2. avatar JasonM says:

          The NRA position should be opposition to any continuation or expansion, while their efforts (and money) should only focus on preventing the expansion, unless the continuation vote would be so close that a few bucks could kill the bill.

        3. avatar Cliff H says:

          It brings to mind the Pacific campaign in WW II. MacArthur spent a lot of time and resources and lives liberating the Phillipines for all the right reasons EXCEPT it was not strategically important to winning the war. Nimitz, on the other hand, engaged in an island-hopping campaign where he picked the islands to be invaded based on their strategic value and simply by-passed Japanese positions that were not a serious threat to the long-term goal.

          This House Bill seems like an annoying island with little ability to actually harm us. Schumer and his Anti 1A and anti-2A modifications, however, deserve the full attention of all of our resources.

        4. avatar Michael C says:

          In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to fight these battles. Anyone could have any guns they wanted and there would be no crime.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      It is a useless law. Completely useless. Lets take a look:

      It is already unlawful for anyone to bring a firearm (as carry on) through the secure checkpoint at any airport or secure location. They seek to make a law that says it is illegal to pass undetectable firearms through these secure locations. How is this any different than the first? The taking of any firearms through these checkpoints encompasses any firearm.

      Furthermore, if someone is looking to take an undetectable firearm through one of these checkpoints (likely with the intent to use it) do they really care about a law requiring they not take it through? The fact that they can simply print one at home with a $300-$500 kit makes this law completely unenforceable on all levels.

      1. avatar Pete says:

        Yeah it really pisses me off when people try to make something more illegal and then pretend that’s progress.

      2. avatar JasonM says:

        You’ve just described every gun law. Murder, rape, assault, armed robbery, etc. are already illegal, so why do we need laws restricting owning or carrying a gun?

        It’s not about preventing guns from airplanes (Schumer would love it if somebody got a gun on a plane: it could mean arming the TSA, strip-searches at the boarding gates, and a federal gun registration). It’s about preventing somebody from making a gun free of government controls. It’s about control of the guns which allows greater control of the people.

        1. avatar Boosh says:

          But it is perfectly legal to make your own gun, provided you don’t sell it

      3. avatar Cliff H says:

        Maybe they should pass a law that you can’t bring a 3D printer in your carry-on luggage. That would prevent you from setting up in the lavatory and making a gun en route. (Don’t talk to me about ammo, I haven’t thought this plan all the way through.)

        1. avatar JuanCudz says:

          Setting up in the lavatory? You are half way there already.

  2. That is what I posted the other day. Anti2A NRA thinks it okay for current law to infringe on gun rights, but not okay for more infringement. Lol

    1. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

      You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. Don’t be surprised when NO ONE agrees with it, though.

      1. avatar Ty King says:

        I agree with him, but we all have better fights to fight than this completely useless law.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          And, we need to quit being so divisive, it will be our undoing.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @RockOnHellChild: Going along to get along is how we got here. It’s a huge mistake and will cost freedom over generations. The NRA has no rights as it is an organization; one that purports to speak for the individual right to keep and bear arms. The NRA needs to step up. Our rights will never be secure with half measures. The NRA’s measuring cup doesn’t even hold half most of the time and has a leak in the bottom as well.

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        I agree with him too. Basically the NRA is saying “We can renew this law but we don’t want any further restrictions.”

        the 2A says keep and bear arms… not keep and bear arms (with at least 3.7 ounces of metal). When plastic guns are more mainstream later (and they will be). They have already imposed restrictions and limitations on them.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          I believe what the NRA is trying to communicate here is not “You can pass this law…” but rather “We are not going to waste time and resources fighting a law that is already passed, has proven to be a harmless annoyance, and is only a distraction from more important business.”

          In other words they are NOT in favor of this law, they just don’t see the point in spending time to make it go away when it is of no consequence.

      3. avatar John in Ohio says:

        I agree with him. Perhaps the NRA said it somewhere and I missed it. However, they could at least call the law out as being an infringement. They don’t have to fight it but they could at least speak out strongly against it. What does it cost to do that when you’re already commenting on the law… nothing. Again, unless I missed it, what they are doing is condoning the law; not merely picking their battles.

  3. avatar eric cartman says:

    this is fucking bullshit, fuck the NRA. they are shills. im glad i didnt give them a cent when the gun controls bills were coming down the line.

    the proper answer is DEREGULATION OF ALL FIREARMS LAWS.

    the NRA is just about the status quo, which is wrong

    1. avatar Roscoe says:


      That’s not a sustainable position, but if you want to go down in a blaze of glory, be my guest. Just don’t try to take the rest of us with you.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Where the nation is currently at on the right to keep and bear arms is THE unsustainable position. With the public indoctrination system turning out far more brainwashed nanny state ninnies that any movement could possibly counter by “winning the hearts and minds” (*rolling my eyes here*); all other freedoms hinge upon the individual RKBA. That is the ONE that must be tenaciously fought for… NOW. If this generation passes by without securing shall not be infringed then our free nation is doomed over a relatively short period of time. Look at all of the other infringements that our government has perpetrated against the People. With information gathering, surveillance, and other technology of the day; a tyrant could take over this nation in less than a generation and the whole globe by the start of the next. Never before have evil people had this much power at their finger tips.

      2. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Just don’t try to take the rest of us with you.

        You live in this nation, you go along for the ride. Many of us aren’t backing down. Shall not be infringed means exactly that. If you don’t like the ride then deal with it because it’s coming; like it or not.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Repeal of all firearm (anti-2A) laws IS the goal, but if you simply accept every single challenge thrown at us by the anti-2A crowd they will beat us into exhaustion before we get anywhere near that point. There are at last count more than 20,000 different ant-gun/anti-2A laws on the books nationwide. Should we attempt to fight them all, right now, every one? Or should we fight the most egregious of them while also working to prevent new legislation from being passed?

      The NRA is our biggest ally in this battle and even with their occasional mistakes they have the largest resources and the biggest lobby with which to influence legislation. We would do well to try to influence THEM while they try to influence Congress, rather than attack them and write them off.

  4. avatar Fug says:

    So, in practical term this outlaws zip guns and stuff like improvised firearms? I’m not sure those are really worth defending outside of experiments by responsible adults in controlled environments. It is a small sacrifice to prevent the liberals from setting back technological development.

    This is of course assuming that Schumer had the votes to do something like ban the use of 3D printers or certain materials if the NRA didn’t act.

    1. No, this law extends for another 10-years the law on completely undetectable firearms. Something that has never existed.

      Getting butthurt about this law being re-authorized is kind of like getting butthurt about them renewing a law against unicorns taking a crap on people’s lawns.

      1. avatar Fug says:

        Can they really make a law that bans something that doesn’t exist though? What is an undetectable firearm? The term doesn’t make sense, so the only thing I can figure is a gun that looks like something else. Like a zip gun or a pen gun or something like that.

        Yet it seems pen guns are just considered an AOW so what is the point? Someone should tie the lawmakers to a chair and ask them this repeatedly under a hot light.

        1. They can make laws banning things that don’t exist, they can make all sorts of stupid laws. They do it pretty much every day. I am waiting for them to claim that no undetectable firearm has ever been made BECAUSE of the law (rather than because there is no demand for such an item). That’s when the stupidity will have reached Homer Simpson levels (‘this rock has kept me safe from tiger attacks…’)

          As an aside, the law as it stands, prohibits manufacture and possession of guns that would not appear to be a gun on modern airport scanners. The fact that ammunition will pretty much always look like ammunition is the real-life thing that pretty much keeps it from happening anyway.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          What LS said. However, it is a whole lot easier to smuggle a few rounds of .380 or 9mm onto a plane than it is to get a pistol through screening. That said, the 3D Liberator pistol, absent the voluntarily inserted chunk of metal that is not necessary to its operation and which is easily removable, will not trigger a metal detector, even with a metal firing pin. Without having seen a test run, it is an open question what it would look like to a modern x-ray device. Since even hair dryers and other such plastic devices show up rather clearly on x-ray I would expect the outline of a Liberator, even if it was dis-assemble, to be fairly distinct.

          This is not to say that a perfectly functional 3D pistol could not be designed and printed that looked nothing at all like a standard pistol.

  5. avatar Uncertain says:

    As a life member of the NRA, this concerns me…that they support renewal of it… Right to bear arms isn’t right to bear arms made of X amount of metal in it… This is the PERFECT example how you can make a law and only the law abiding will follow it. Someone willing to kill another is going to have no problem making a plastic gun illegally and using it… It’s just one more charge to throw at them. In the mean time, law abiding need to make certain their firearms meet requirements… The NRA being OK with that bothers me a lot because it undermines their stance on other gun laws that do nothing to curtail crime.

    The only gun law we need is that it should be illegal to murder(negligent or intentional) or endanger people with unsafe use of a firearm. That’s all there is to it…the punishment should be so severe no one would wish to violate it…

  6. avatar Anders A says:

    Now we will never get that Glock 7

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      It costs more than you make in a month anyway.

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        You’d be surprised what I make in a month.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      I’m good with that. It would cost me more than I make in a month.

    3. avatar Not So 1337 says:

      Are porcelain guns possible?

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        Probably, I just wouldn’t count on drop safe…

      2. avatar 16V says:

        There are some incredibly strong ceramics, but they are mostly in the family known as cermets which are, as you may have guessed, a ceramic/metal composite material.

        For instance ALON, is the trade name for aluminum oxynitride – more commonly known as ‘transparent aluminum’. Bullet resistant up to .50BMG depending on thickness. Been around for decades.

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          Never heard of ALON before. Googled it. Thanks for that.

        2. avatar 16V says:

          I seem to find my way to the obscure and indeterminate more than normal folks. Always happy to share.

  7. avatar ST says:

    Pragmatically speaking, it is a matter of PR.

    Most here are aware that the media is territory of the enemy .This close to the anniversary of Newtown, it’s vital we of the gun don’t give the media any rope to hang us with.


    The story writes itself.The liberal elite and Hollywood jumps in, and before you pick up your smartphone next time it’s turned into a trendy cause among the weak minded.Then Schumer and his cronies capitialize on it ,the Senate amends it into AWB 2.0,and it’s lights out for us.

    By backing a House proposal to reauthorize what already exists , no practical damage to the RKBA exists , it thwarts an attempt by the anti lobby to fulcrum the issue into a PR campaign, and the protectionists are denied a cause.

  8. avatar Skyler says:

    Who was it that said the job of progressives is to move the nation to the left. The job of conservatives is to not move to the left so much.

    That’s why I’m not a conservative. We need to change the dynamic and stop trying to slow down the descent into slavery and feudalism. We need to start moving to repeal the NFA and GCA. Screw the NRA.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      And don’t forget the Brady Act. Which the NRA is quite proud of.

      (My other “favorite” law–the Hughes amendment–would be moot if NFA were repealed.)

  9. avatar SteveInCO says:

    See, since I am too poor to afford a Glock 7, this law doesn’t affect me or anything I own, so I don’t oppose it.

    [OK folks, on how many levels is what I just said, wrong?]

  10. avatar peirsonb says:

    This just occurred to me: shouldn’t we be trying to get the fudds riled up on this? Expansion sounds like it would outlaw an awful lot of polymer stocks…

  11. avatar gabba says:

    the NRA exists primarily for the established firearms manufacturers, so of course they’re against it.

  12. avatar JSF01 says:

    I support the 2nd amendment, but I have no problem with this law. Not because I think this law is a good idea or that it should even be on the books, but because I know that we can not win every battle (at least not yet). In this case lets be honest in this case just about every uniformed person and fudd in the general population probably supports this legislation despite the fact it has no affect.

    If we were to rally against this hard and turn it into a battle we do not have enough people to make those politician’s pay a political price for voting for it and they know it. More than likely we would lose this battle anyway (as much as I hate it) so we would wind up with at minimum the extended law, but for the anti’s they can and will portray us as weak. The next time a much more important bill for the Anti’s come up, they would point to this and say “remember all that commotion they where making about the undetectable firearms act and yet nothing came from it. They may be loud but they are such a small minority that you can ignore them with out consequence.” Next thing we know they vote for that Anti gun bill because they underestimate us, and even if we do successfully make them pay for it in the end we are left trying to battle to repeal that law, which all the anti’s in safe positions will fight very vigorously to protect.

    The NRA backing this law actually accomplishes a few things in the long run. For one the Anti’s won’t be able to claim this as some big win when it inevitably passes. Second it prevents this law from becoming any worst, since if it became a drawn out fight the anti’s would be crafting a new bill on their own terms and you know that it would include at least the minimum of making 3d printed firearms illegal if not also making any 3d printed gun part illegal. Third we can point to this as more proof to counter the Anti’s when they say things like “the NRA is unreasonable and never supports “common sense” gun control.” Than fourthly we can also use this as proof that the NRA is not the “gun industry” lobby that the Anti’s like to paint them as other wise the NRA would support expanding this law to cover things like 3d printed firearms and parts, because the general population being able to make these things hurts the “gun industry’s” profits and will only increase doing so the more prevalent and better this technology becomes.

    We can’t and won’t win every battle, but by picking our fights very strategically we can reacquire some of the most important rights that are part of the 2nd amendment, while giving up, as far as practically is concerned, virtually nothing.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      “I support the 2nd amendment, but ….”

      OMG folks – there it is!

      JFS01, Just kidding – just giving you a hard time. It is clear you don’t support this bill.

      1. avatar JSF01 says:

        Did that on purpose, I want to see if any body just reads the fist sentence before going and flaming me. I also hoping that the phrase will get some people that are just quickly scanning through the comments to possible stop and pay attention to what I said, since I don’t want to see us loosing important battles because we diluted our power by trying fight every minor skirmish that we can not win. It’s only really been a decade since we have just grown strong enough to really begin to go on the offensive and push back some of the infringements on the Second Amendment, and we can still easily find ourselves sliding back if we are not careful. We need to cautiously when we see strategic opportunities and than entrench ourselves so they can not deprive us of our rights ever again. The most important thing we need to be doing right now is growing our numbers by introducing as many people as humanly possible to shooting, so in the future we have the power to win all these minor skirmishes.

    2. avatar Skyler says:

      I don’t recall the Sierra Club compromising on anything, ever. I don’t recall MADD compromising on anything ever. I don’t recall SEIU compromising on anything ever. I don’t recall Planned Parenthood compromising on anything ever.

      Instead, they double down every time.

      1. avatar JSF01 says:

        The difference was there was no real danger of them sliding backwards. We have that danger,and unless you were blind to just how close the antis got to passing some pretty major anti gun legislation after Newtown you know that is true. As much as I hate it I understand that on this particular bill the whole “undetectable firearms” things is very easy to sell to a gullible public that are completely ignorant on how things work, that give a pass to all sorts of violations of rights in the name of security(TSA looking and/or fealling everybody up, anyone). Right now there are not enough of us hard core Second Amendment supporters, to make the politicians pay a noticeable political price on the subject of “undetectable firearms”. Don’t like that fact, start doing every thing possible introducing as many people as possible to firearms. Especially work with youth organizations, introduce your kids, nieces, nephews, and cousins since 10 year olds now will be able to vote when this comes up again. Help grow our numbers so we never have to worry about the possibility of ever sliding back towards giving up our rights.

    3. avatar 16V says:

      Therein lies the fallacy of the Faustian bargain.

      The thought that somehow, for some mysterious reason this time will be different. This time they won’t imaginatively interpret this to mean all sorts of things it was never intended to mean. They won’t use this against 3D printing, they won’t use this against plastic parts.

      They’ve done it with every other gun law, but hey, this time is different.

      1. avatar JSF01 says:

        They may try to reinterpret this law, but that’s not something that will make a difference. There is only so far you can generally bend a law, and in this case I guarantee that we would wind up with some type of undetectable firearms act law. So do you prefer a law that they may eventually interpret as banning 3d printed firearms, though so far they have not been able to do, and does expire, or a law that specifically bans 3d printed firearms, and could potentially be interpreted as banning a whole lot more, and potentially never expires. The biggest mistake we can make now is overestimating our strength. Failures make us appear weak which serves to embolden the anti’s allowing them to successfully push greater anti firearm laws, that once on the books will be a very difficult fight to remove and may take many years, even if we do successfully remove many of those politicians from office after they do so. The Anti’s that we cant remove (like representatives form California, New Jersey, etc..) will fight like hell to keep those ill gotten laws on the books and use every dirty trick to preserve them. While eventually we would probably be able to over turn those laws I’d rather not have them there in the first place.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          “They” can interpret it how ever they want, that’s my point.

          5 years down the road when it gets overturned, you might you be released from prison? Are you really suggesting that’s acceptable?

  13. avatar Rog Uinta says:

    How will the government detect if I have made an undetectable firearm?

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Random placement of backscatter machines around urban area, just like in the airports except you won’t know you’re being inspected. They’ve already tested, and sooner or later, it’ll be deployed.

  14. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Screw you, NRA. This type of bullshit is why I canceled my membership.

    1. avatar JuanCudz says:

      Stop it Tot! You are running out of toys in your perambulator.

  15. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    So we tell them to push out to renew a law which has done nothing, stopped nothing, probably won’t prevent anything in the future. Been around for 25 year yippee.. Bloomberg is probably so proud!

    NRA strokes some ego’s, and moves on. Yeah I get it, it should have never been passed in the first place, but guess what? Sometimes you gotta give a reach around to the politicians so you can get what matters more later on.
    I don’t like it, I hate it, but it is the nature of the beast.

  16. avatar Excedrine says:

    Because it swept the House so thoroughly, a fact that really doesn’t surprise me at all (and shouldn’t surprise anybody else for that matter), there probably wasn’t any stopping it anyway.

    Still, it would have been nice to hear from them, for whatever it would have been worth. Oh well.

    The NRA tends to be quite choosey about it’s fights, despite the alleged clout it wields. It has played a very careful PR campaign for a very long time, and the FUD is still strong with them. They’re playing it safe with this one, and probably gearing up for a fight with the Senate over any added language. It’s still the primary reason why I refuse to become a member, though. The NAGR, GOA, and GRNC are my go-to advocacy groups.

  17. avatar rlc2 says:

    Thanks Robert for the update from NRA-ILA. This makes sense, and now I feel foolish that I bought into GOAs too long email blast to my representatives and senators.

    I remember a political science teacher in college class who said- remember the ABCs of politics, when considering what Congress does. Alliances, Barganing, Compromise.

    Theres a science to this, and a good chess move would be to give the Anti’s a false win, by heading them off to prevent expansion.

    We’ll see how it plays out, but the NRA-ILA info makes sense, and reminds me why I donate to have them working in the background on the ABCs.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      You feel a tingle in your groin every single time you’re gulled. ADMIT IT.

  18. avatar nature223 says:

    so yet again the NRA shoots it’s members in the foot..
    notice, I have not joined and wont..
    capitulation a step at a time is just as bad as not trying to stop them at all

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    Reauthorization Yes. Expansion No. And if Chuckie Schumer pushes to hard for expansion, we won’t get either.

    If the only bill facing the Senate expands the Act, it is likely to fail in the Senate and certainly will fail in the House. That will leave the Republicans with the high ground — they voted to extend the Act — and the Democrats looking like fools when it expires.

  20. avatar Model 31 says:

    I hope the NRA is willing to lobby the House for this so that it is either renewal or nothing. If successful, it will start a new 10 year count down – 5 years or so to make non-metal 3D printable guns that work reliably and the remainder to make them “common use”.

  21. avatar William Burke says:

    We don’t oppose it at all. Only we’ll tell you we do.

    Lying sacks of shit. Fifth columnists.

  22. avatar waif says:

    The benefits of “undetectable” firearms are dwarfed by the benefits of being able to 3d print (or cnc mill) your own firearms, and the innovations I anticipate will be coming.

    NRA made the right call on this one.

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