McAuliffe wants to restore Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month policy

Posted at 7:35 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 23:23:04-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to restore Virginia's one-handgun-a-month law, which was repealed by Republicans in 2012. The law barred anyone other than licensed gun sellers from purchasing more than one handgun per month in Virginia.

The Governor's Office is proposing the policy as an amendment to a Republican-backed Senate bill that would prohibit the sharing of information about concealed handgun permits with states that do not recognize Virginia's permit as valid.

"One-Handgun-a-Month was enacted almost a quarter century ago to counter Virginia’s shameful reputation as the gun-running capital of the East Coast. Five years ago, the General Assembly took the ill-advised step of repealing this common-sense limitation. As a result, Virginia is once again becoming the go-to state for criminals to purchase weapons in bulk," the Governor said in news release.

In the release, McAuliffe referenced a Brooklyn gun sting that lead to the arrest of 22 people from Virginia, 17 from the Richmond area, for trafficking weapons up the I-95 corridor as an example of the need to restore the law.

"One of the suspects was recorded boasting, I can go get 20 guns from the store tomorrow. 'I can do that Monday through Friday . . . They might start looking at me, but in Virginia, our laws are so little, I can give guns away,'" the release read.

Opponents of one-handgun-a-month policies argue they do very little to keep gun runners from trafficking weapons.

“Quite frankly, it was overtaken by the improved technology and the improved background checks that we have now in place,” Scott Lingamfelter, who spearheaded the repeal effort in 2012, told CBS 6 at the time.

With a Republican controlled legislature, McAuliffe's proposal has a slim chance of passing when the General Assembly reconvenes to consider the Governor's amendments in April.