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In brief: Lawmakers push to extend ban on undectable firearms

Thu., Nov. 14, 2013, midnight

Washington – With a law banning undetectable firearms about to expire, federal agents are focusing attention on the latest twist in high-tech weaponry: guns made entirely out of plastic.

3-D industrial printers that can create plastic models and prototypes now can make guns that can’t be picked up by metal detectors.

A longtime ban on undetectable firearms is scheduled to expire Dec. 9 and two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida, have called for a ban on plastic guns. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., also has introduced legislation on the issue.

In a meeting with reporters Wednesday, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said plastic guns present a special challenge for law enforcement agencies.

The agents said that in order to comply with current law, a person manufacturing a gun must use a certain amount of metal in the finished product so that the firearm is detectable by scanners at airports, federal buildings, sporting events – any place where security screening is in place. If the law expires, someone could legally make and sell firearms that are undetectable.

Air Force colonel acquitted of groping woman outside bar

Washington – An Air Force colonel charged with groping a woman in a drunken incident outside a bar near the Pentagon in May was acquitted by a Virginia jury Wednesday.

The charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski were notable because he was leading an Air Force program responsible for preventing sexual assault at the time of the alleged attack.

A 23-year-old graduate of American University in Washington testified that she felt violated after Krusinski came up to her outside Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City, Va., and squeezed her buttocks. According to testimony at the trial this week, he was drunk and touched two other women at the bar inappropriately.

Barry Coburn, Krusinski’s lawyer, said the woman’s account was inconsistent and suggested Krusinski might have touched her by accident.

The Air Force removed Krusinski from his sexual harassment program position after the charges were filed, but he continued to report for duty in another assignment.

Hawaii governor signs bill legalizing same-sex marriage

Honolulu – With the governor’s signature, Hawaii legalizes gay marriage.

Hawaii became the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage Wednesday as Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law that will allow gay weddings as soon as Dec. 2.

“Finally, today now all those who have been invisible will be visible to themselves and the whole world,” Abercrombie said before he sat down and signed the bill.

The state Senate passed the bill 19-4 on Tuesday, sending it to Abercrombie, who had said he would sign it.


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