- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
Va. Senate votes to repeal one-gun-a-month law
RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate on Monday voted to repeal the state’s nearly 20-year-old law limiting handgun purchases to one per month, delivering a long-sought victory to advocates of gun rights and the Second Amendment.
The legislation, signed by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder in 1993, was intended to curb illegal gun trafficking from Virginia to other states on the East Coast, notably New York. That point was reiterated Monday by those looking to keep the ban in place.
“Virginians must look out for our neighbors,” said Sen. David W. Marsden, Fairfax Democrat. “Twenty years ago, the majority of homicides in New York were committed with guns bought in Virginia. People would buy a bunch of guns in Virginia and take them to New York to sell.”
Proponents say there are many exemptions in the law — for law-enforcement officials and holders of concealed-weapon permits, for example — and that gun-tracking technology has come so far that the law is no longer necessary.
“This law may have had a purpose when it was passed originally, but the rationale has been neutered by the exceptions that now exist,” said Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter, Prince William Republican, who sponsored the bill in the House of Delegates.
The House signed off on its version of the bill last week, and Gov. Bob McDonnell has indicated that he will sign the measure.
Mr. McDonnell supported the law when he was a Republican delegate representing Virginia Beach, but, citing technological progress since then, now backs its repeal.
The measure passed by a vote of 21-19, sparing Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling from having to cast a tie-breaking vote on the contentious issue. Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., James City Republican, joined 18 Democrats in voting against the bill. Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath and Sen. John S. Edwards of Roanoke, pro-gun Democrats who represent rural areas of the state, were the two crossovers who voted for the repeal.
Gun control advocates quickly expressed their disappointment.
“Virginia has had more than its share of horrific tragedies perpetrated by criminals with easy access to firearms,” said Lori Haas, whose daughter, Emily, survived the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech in which Seung-hui Cho killed 32 people before taking his own life. “It is a sad day when our legislators purposely make it easier for gun traffickers to do their dirty business.”
Senate Democratic Leader Richard L. Saslaw of Fairfax noted that if a person bought one gun a month, every month, for the past 20 years, they would have amassed a cache of 240 handguns.
“If you need more than 240 handguns, I submit something’s wrong with you,” he said. “Something has gone terribly wrong in your life.”
The Senate has also signed off on a bill that would remove the option for a locality to require that an applicant for a concealed handgun permit submit fingerprints as part of their application.
While Monday’s vote marked a gigantic victory for groups such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League and the National Rifle Association, the pro-gun lobby has not been entirely successful thus far in the 2012 session.
Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr., Grayson Republican and patron of the one-gun-a-month measure, requested that another bill to pre-empt any administrative body from enacting gun-control regulations be carried over to next year.
The Courts of Justice Committee also continued to next year a bill introduced by Sen. Richard H. Black, Loudoun Republican, that would eliminate a state background check for purchasers of rifles and shotguns in favor of a federal one. Currently, both are used.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CPAC 2014: Presidential support for Carson rises
- Palin dings Obama, calls for conservative reinforcements in Washington
- CPAC 2014: Carson 'not sure' what God has in store for him
- CPAC 2014: Gingrich says it's time for a 'big rebellion on the battlefield of ideas'
- CPAC 2014: Bachmann says country will elect 'right' female president
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Adam Lanza's dad: He would've killed me 'in a heartbeat'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again