Hindering crime prevention
February 7, 2012
The Virginian-Pilot reports the Virginia State Senate voted yesterday to eliminate Virginia's limit to one handgun purchase a month, which has been in place for nearly twenty years. The House of Delegates has already passed their companion legislation, and Governor Bob McDonnell, "who supported the handgun limit as a Virginia Beach legislator, has said he will sign legislation to overturn it."
Progressive Point: Crime control and public safety are a top priority for all Virginians. Virginia's limit to one handgun purchase a month was put in place twenty years ago to combat gun traffickers--and today, the ban still targets illegal gun runners. Crime prevention is a laudable goal and gun trafficking is as real and serious a crime today as it was when the law was passed.
Gun violence is a major concern for Virginians, and our representatives must balance crime prevention with constitutional rights. The current law does not prohibit any Virginian from lawfully purchasing a handgun, but it does make it harder to illegally traffic in firearms. Crime prevention and stopping gun violence is a priority for Virginians across the Commonwealth, and removing this ban damages our ability to keep citizens safe.
Get the Facts:
- Just two years after the one-gun-a-month regulation went into effect, it started to show serious success. The Virginia State Crime Commission reported that the odds of a Virginia gun being recovered in connection with a criminal investigation were down 36% across the country, down 66% in the Northeast Corridor (NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA), and 71% in New York. (Report of the Virginia State Crime Commission, Study of Virginia's Law on Handgun Purchase Limits, 1996)