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Politics

Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio Team Up on Undetectable Firearms Act

December 9, 2013 - 6:00pm

Floridas two U.S. senators stood in agreement across party lines this week to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act. First backed by Ronald Reagan in 1988 and renewed by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the act bans guns that arent read by metal detectors. With President Barack Obama signing it on Monday night, the act bans plastic guns for another 10 years.

The authorization passed the U.S. House last week and the Senate advanced it on Monday on a voice vote. Despite efforts by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the bill did not contain any restrictions to Second Amendment rights. Schumer and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., were the sponsors in the Democratic-controlled Senate while U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., was the sponsor in the GOP-led House. Coble fought to ensure no additional gun restrictions were included in the act.

Nelson said reauthorizing the act would help public safety. Weapons like this pose a threat to our security and personal safety, Nelson said. Weve got to keep them off our streets and out the hands of those who would do us harm.

On the other side of the aisle, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also backed the reauthorization.

I supported reauthorizing the existing common-sense law banning undetectable firearms, which are intended to avoid metal detectors and jeopardize public safety, Rubio said late Monday. I am glad gun-control groups failed in their attempts to use this vote as an opportunity to further regulate the lawful ownership of firearms, a right protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

I continue to believe that the answer to gun-related violence is vigorous enforcement of existing criminal laws and enhanced efforts to address mental health problems, Rubio added. This is not the first time weve seen gun-control advocates seize any opportunity to advance federal regulations, but I will continue to fight for the rights of law-abiding Americans to bear arms.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) supported the measure when it emerged in the House last week but worked against including any further gun control restrictions in the reauthorization.

We would like to make our position clear, the NRA said in a statement last week when the measure was in the House. 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.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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