Virginia repeals one handgun per month law

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday signed a bill that repeals a law limiting individual handgun purchases to one per month, passed in 1993 when Virginia was a haven for gun runners.

McDonnell's signature is no surprise. He had earlier expressed support for the bill, which gained final General Assembly passage on Feb. 15.

A McDonnell spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The signing comes after McDonnell met with families of people killed or injured in the April 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

The families had hoped to persuade him to veto the bill. The law was a major legislative legacy of Democratic former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, passed when Virginia was a favorite armory for East Coast criminals.

The law was intended to staunch the flow of guns from Virginia to New York City and other cities with tough laws.

In 1991, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that 40 percent of the 1,236 guns found at crime scenes in New York had been purchased in Virginia.