Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today regarding his proposed amendments to Senate Bill 1023, which would restore Virginia’s One-Handgun-a-Month law that was repealed by Governor McDonnell in 2012:
Today I have sent down an amendment to a bill on my desk which will restore Virginia’s One-Handgun-a-Month law. The law, enacted in 1993 by then-Governor L. Douglas Wilder, was repealed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate in 2012 and signed by Governor Bob McDonnell. The amendment will once again make it illegal to purchase more than one handgun in a 30-day period by Virginia residents and out-of-state purchasers.
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 627-count indictment earlier this month of 24 individuals – 22 of them Virginians – as part of a gun trafficking ring that brought over 200 weapons up the I-95 corridor to New York City, highlights the need to restore One-Handgun-a-Month. 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.”
My amendment will make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person other than a licensed firearms dealer to purchase more than one handgun within a 30-day period. The restoration of One-Handgun-a-Month, which is offered as an amendment to Senate Bill 1023, is a major step forward in making Virginia a safer place and ending its role in the proliferation of firearms up and down the East Coast.