Senate is expected to approve 10-year extension of the ban
Media reported that Monday's vote to extend the prohibition on plastic guns for another decade responds to a growing threat from steadily improving 3-D printers that can produce such weapons.
But gun control advocates seem sure to lose an effort to impose additional, tougher restrictions on plastic firearms - a harsh reminder of their failure to enact any new federal gun curbs in the year since 20 first-graders and six educators were murdered in Newtown, Conn.
The Dec 14 slaying prompted President Barack Obama to push gun control to the top of his domestic agenda. But Congress approved nothing, and gun control advocates face the same uphill struggle in 2014, complicated by internal divisions over what their next step should be.
"The gun lobby still has enormous power in Washington - more, frankly, than I thought they still had," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who represented Newtown last year while in the House.
The Senate is expected to easily approve a 10-year extension of the ban, which would otherwise expire Tuesday.
In a statement last week, the NRA expressed no opposition to renewing the law. But the gun lobby said it would fight any expanded requirements, including Schumer's "or any other proposal that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights" to bear arms.
The prohibition was first enacted in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan and easily renewed twice. The House approved a 10-year extension of the ban last Tuesday.