For Release: Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Washington, DC – In response to the introduction today of the “Terrorist Firearms Detection Act of 2003” by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), the Violence Policy Center released the following statement by Legislative Director Kristen Rand:
The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today applauded Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) for introducing the “Terrorist Firearms Detection Act of 2003.” Without Congressional action, the federal ban on non-detectable firearms non-metallic handguns that can evade airport metal detectors and X-ray equipment will expire by the end of this year. The ban, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, and renewed by President Clinton in 1998, is a front-line defense against terrorist attacks against airliners and facilities that rely upon detection technology. Before this ban was enacted in 1988, the gun industry was on the verge of manufacturing handguns that could evade airport security equipment. Senator Kennedy’s bill would make the ban permanent. If Congress fails to renew the ban, air travelers will face the threat of being held hostage to a new generation of undetectable handguns. In the name of “homeland security,” Senator Kennedy’s bill should be swiftly approved by both Houses of Congress for President Bush’s signature.