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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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May 6th, 2013
05:53 PM ET

3D gun printed and fired, congressman fights to regulate the weapon

Defense Distributed, an organization whose sole purpose was to create 3D gun printing and then share that technology with the public, uploaded a video of the successful printing and firing of a 3D gun Monday. It was a shot across the bow in a whole new battle on guns.

Back in March, Cody Wilson, head of Defense Distributed, told CNN's "The Lead," that he intended to have "a printable gun," by the end of April.

Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, is not celebrating this marriage of hi-tech and the right to bear plastic arms. In the wake of Defense Distributed's pursuit of printable 3D guns, Israel is pushing for a renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act.

The act says "you cannot manufacture or transport weapons that cannot be picked up by metal detectors," said Israel. "It was common sense when Bush signed the law in 2003, it is now urgent sense now that the 3D printers are actually manufacturing these weapons."

Israel said he supports the revolutionary technology of 3D printing, and the economic benefits they will provide. Such printers currently cost between $8,000 and $13,000, a price barrier for the average gun-seeker. But Israel said 3D printers will eventually come down in price, which is why it is important to regulate them now.

"I don't necessarily want to ban the guns, I don't want to make it easier for criminals and terrorists to bring plastic guns through metal detectors onto airplanes," said Israel.

There is currently little appetite for gun control legislation in Congress. The U.S. Senate rejected a bipartisan plan to expand background checks on firearms sales and a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons last month.

But Israel said the more people who see videos like those from Defense Distributed, and the more people who go on planes who want to be safe, "the greater the chances of passing this bill."

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