Here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) has set his sights on pushing gun control policies yet again. This time around, he’s pursuing a law to limit gun purchases to “one-gun-a-month” in Virginia–an amendment attached to Senate Bill 1023. His reasoning? It’s about “public safety” and “common sense.”
The “One-Handgun-a-Month” policy was law from 1993 until 2012, when Republican Governor Bob McDonnell repealed the ban. McAuliffe insists reinstating this ban on gun purchases will prevent out-of-state criminals from buying firearms here to commit crimes in their respective states–especially in McAuliffe’s native New York.
“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,” said McAuliffe in a statement released on March 27th. “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.”
He added, “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.”
— Guns.com (@Guns_com) March 29, 2017
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) March 30, 2017
— kerry dougherty (@kerrydougherty) March 28, 2017
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) March 24, 2017
Gov. McAuliffe's proposal to restore Virginia's one-gun-a-month law unlikely to succeed https://t.co/SD1eEXaApe
— Times-Dispatch (@RTDNEWS) March 29, 2017
Here’s more on this move, which is expected to die in the Republican-dominated General Assembly:
McAuliffe submitted the proposal, which includes punishments of up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine, as an amendment to an unrelated, Republican-backed gun bill that would have prevented other states from obtaining information about concealed-handgun permit holders in Virginia.
Criminals will commit crimes no matter the laws in place. Moreover, prospective gun owners must submit to both an National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) and a criminal background check conducted by Virginia State Police. (I would know, I underwent the process and successfully obtained my concealed handgun permit (CHP) here after consenting to both.) These methods of screening have been largely successful in preventing unqualified applicants from purchasing firearms.
Additionally, Virginia firearms dealers – who must have a federal firearms license (FFL) in place to operate–are required by state law to report individuals who purchase more than one handgun in five days to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Virginia State Police. Here’s a snippet of these ATF rules:
- The Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968 requires federal firearms licensees (FFLs) to report multiple sales or other dispositions of handguns to the same purchaser.
- The sale or disposition of two or more handguns must be reported if they occur at the same time, or within five consecutive business days of each other.
- ATF views the recovery of one or more firearms used in crimes that were part of a multiple purchase as an indicator of firearms trafficking.
Relying on 1993 standards will do nothing to thwart criminal gun use. Why didn’t New York State, the example McAuliffe cited, comply with ATF standards? Why can’t Virginia top cop — Attorney General Mark Herring (D)– enforce current gun laws in place? Oh right, he was too busy trying to ban CHP reciprocity at one point to care and is beholden to his friends in the gun control lobby.
Take the recent burglaries at three local Northern Virginia gun stores. Would more gun control policies–particularly this amendment to limit gun purchases– have stopped three criminals from burglarizing these gun stores here earlier this month? No. The three criminals, allegedly from Alexandria, Virginia, stole 35 semi-automatic firearms estimated at $25,000 from 50 West Armory in Chantilly on March 11th and burglarized ASH Tactical and SSG Tactical in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on March 14th. Their intent was to inflict harm–behavior universally discouraged by gun store owners and firearms dealers. All three stores complied with–rather than evaded– local authorities in their quest to apprehend the criminals.
McAuliffe, like his Democrat compatriots, will use his remaining nine months in office to lump law-abiding citizens with criminals who seek to abuse and misuse gun laws. Hence why this “One-Gun-a-Month” provision is doomed to die in our state legislature. The General Assembly will thankfully do its job and kill this awful provision very soon.