Today the Virginia State Senate voted to end Virginia’s long-standing limit of one handgun purchase per month. Virginia based this rationing of the 2nd Amendment right on the idea that limiting the volume of firearms sales could prevent illegal “gun running” to neighboring areas with stricter handgun laws or outright bans, such as Washington, D.C. They originally enacted the law in 1993 during a swelling of gun control measures that climaxed with the national assault weapons ban in 1994. Despite nearly two decades of this law’s enforcement, there is no evidence whatsoever that limiting law-abiding citizens to one handgun purchase a month had any effect on the illegal arms trade on the east coast.
In the wake of D.C. v. Heller, the landmark 2008 Supreme Court Case overturning the Washington, D.C. handgun ban and affirming the 2nd Amendment, many legislators are looking at local firearms laws in their state with a wary eye, wondering if they will withstand a legal challenge based on the Heller case. With this close vote, 21 Senators “for” and 19 Senators “against,” Virginia’s Senate has decided not to wait and find out. Governor Robert McDonnell pledged earlier to sign the bill if the Senate managed to pass it; it now goes to his desk and awaits his pen.
Virginia’s one purchase per month limit will soon be added to the long list of failed gun control measures that did nothing but inconvenience the law-abiding citizens who had to follow them, and are now discarded for having failed to reap any benefit to anyone. Cheaper Than Dirt! congratulates Virginians on their hard-won victory to preserve their constitutional rights.