Bill to repeal one-gun-a-month law clears House of Delegates

Posted at 9:57 AM, Feb 01, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-23 14:59:54-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to repeal Virginia's one-handgun-a-month law Wednesday.

CBS 6 News' Tracy Sears said the bill (HB 940) passed 66-32.

The bill next heads to the Virginia Senate.

The law, which restricts handgun purchases to once a month, has been in effect since 1993. It was one of former Gov. Doug Wilder's priorities when he was in office.

Those in favor of doing away with the restriction said the bill was an inconvenience for gun collectors.

However, lawmakers argued the law was put in place to protect Virginians and as a way to restrict possible gun trafficking.

Officials said before the law, straw polling allowed out-of-state gun dealers to legally purchase guns in Virginia to sell illegally in other states. Some of those guns were tied to crimes in those states.

Delegate Joe Morrissey issued a statement that said, “before this piece of legislation passed in 1993, Virginia was known as the ‘Straw Purchase Capitol of the East Coast’."

Morrissey also said the repeal would set Virginia back almost 2 decades.

Additionally on Wednesday, a debate is also expected over a law which determines who is eligible for the death penalty in the Commonwealth.

The so called "triggerman" law would expand the death penalty to people who help plan or carry out murders. Delegate Todd Gilbert is responsible for the bill which heads to a House Committee today.

A similar bill was voted down in the Senate yesterday, but the House bill is still alive. However, those opposing the bill call it flawed, saying it is simply an expansion of the death penalty.

Stay with and CBS 6 News for the latest updates from the General Assembly.