Firearms capable of passing through detection devices without setting off alarms would be outlawed under legislation approved by the House and on its way to the Senate.

"Plastic gun technology presents enormous problems for our law enforcement community," said Rep. William Hughes, D-N.J., as the bill won approval on a voice vote Thursday.The measure, which would outlaw manufacture, import, sale or possession of the largely plastic guns, now goes to the Senate.

A similar bill is part of the major drug bill now in a House-Senate conference committee, but press secretary Mark Brown said Hughes wanted to keep a separate version moving "simply to keep both irons in the fire."

Violators would be subject to $250,000 in fines for individuals and $1 million for organizations. The bill also calls for prison terms of up to five years for violators.

The bill would not affect existing firearms because they do not fall below the minimum levels of detection devices. The legislation would provide exemptions for the military and intelligence agencies.