In what is being called one of the most significant changes in Virginia's firearm laws in 20 years, the state Senate on Monday, Feb. 6, voted 21-19 to allow the purchase of more than one handgun a month. Following the previous week's passage of a companion measure in the House of Delegates by a 66-32 margin, the measure to repeal the one-gun-a-month law now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who has indicated he would sign it.
Virginians have been prohibited from purchasing more than one handgun within a 30-day period since the passage of a 1993 law, backed by then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, in response to allegations of interstate gun trafficking. Attempts to repeal the law in previous years had been unsuccessful.
Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr. (R-Grayson), sponsor of Senate Bill 323, said the NRA-drafted bill would bring the Commonwealth in line with most other states, noting only Maryland, California and New Jersey continue to restrict handgun purchases to one a month.
"Today, the Senate took a stand for the Second Amendment by eliminating an unnecessary and outdated law," Carrico said in a statement released this week.
Carrico, a Republican from Galax in the southwestern corner of Virginia, said current technology negates the need for the state's limit on gun purchases and that law-abiding citizens will benefit from such a change.
"Advanced technologies like instant background checks have made gun restrictions like this counter-productive," said Carrico, a retired state trooper. "Over the years, it has become obvious that 'one gun a month' only affected responsible gun owners and didn't deter criminals from obtaining handguns."
While Gov. McDonnell supported the ban when he was a delegate representing Virginia Beach, he has publicly stated that improved technology has eliminated the need for such restrictive controls.