Virginia Senate passes repeal on handgun limits
Unlimited gun sales!
Monday, the Virginia Senate followed the House, passing a bill to repeal a nearly 20 year old law known as the "one handgun a month" law—it was designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
But, Monday night, the new legislation sparked controversy, as the bill was waiting to be decided on by the Governor.
The "repeal" could impact the entire East Coast. The Virginia legislature passed the measure after it was found Virginia guns were being used in crimes in New York and other states with stricter guns laws.
Critics say a repeal would mean criminals could get their hands on hundreds of guns a month without a background check or any documentation.
Nova Firearms is a candy store for gun-enthusiasts, but those customers wanting to buy more than one handgun a month have to be patient.
“Over the years, the anti-gun advocates out there were constantly chipping away at the second amendment rights that people in the state of Virginia enjoy,” said Dennis Pratte, a gun dealer.
But in a 21 to 19 vote, the Senate moved to repeal the long-standing law restricting handgun purchases in the state to one a month.
Dealers like Pratte would still have to document and report sales, but private sellers would not. The only gun dealer in the area, Pratte says it's a positive step for law-abiding Virginians.
“I think it's a convenience for them I don't think it's going to have any ill effect on safety-I think everyone should be gun owners,” Pratte said.
But Fairfax State Senator Dick Saslaw cast a no vote saying that “given there are gun stores on every other block once you leave Northern Virginia, we are going to become the gun-running capital of the East Coast again.”
“This goes against what I've been advocating for since my sister was killed on April 16th at Virginia Tech,” said Omar Samaha has fought for gun control since losing his sister Reema in the 2007 massacre.
“Up and down the east coast, you see Virginia's guns ending up at crime scenes so this law prevents that in one way or another,” Samaha said.
If Governor McDonnell signs the repeal, Samaha says criminals could easily buy unlimited numbers of handguns.
“You will have no record of the transaction anywhere, your name won't show up, there won't be any receipt of the transaction,” Samaha said.
Pratte believes Virginia gun owners will fight to keep guns off the streets.
Samaha says he would feel comfortable with a repeal of this law if it also required those private sellers to document purchases. Governor McDonnell says he will likely sign the measure.