The House of Delegates passed legislation today to repeal Virginia’s one-per-month limit on handgun purchases, a law that has been on the books for nearly two decades.
House Bill 940 passed by a vote of 66-32 following a brief floor debate in which an opponent of the bill argued that Virginia would again become a haven for gun runners if it allows unlimited handgun purchases. Supporters of the bill argue that legislators have weakened the law by approving multiple exceptions over the years, and that improved background check technology has reduced the need for a handgun purchase limit.
An identical bill is pending in the Senate.
“It is time to trust the technology and the good work of our state police and BATF (federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and pass this bill,” said the House bill’s sponsor, Del. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William County.
Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Henrico County, reminded delegates of the conditions that led the General Assembly to pass the handgun limit in 1993.
“Let’s be clear what’s going to happen,” Morrissey said Del. Joe Morrissey. “Some crack addict is going to be given a half a gram of coke, he is going to be given a Virginia driver’s license, which he obtains or is given, and he will go into a place and he will buy nine or 10 Glocks or .357s of whatever. Not making it up – it’s what would happen 20 years ago. And we will return to the days where we are the gun capital of the South.”
– Michael Sluss