Va. Gov. wants to restore 1 gun per month limit

Amanda Iacone,

WASHINGTON – More than two years after Virginia repealed a law limiting handgun purchases to just one per month, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is hoping legislators will have a change of heart and reinstate the limit.

McAuliffe rolled out a series of legislative proposals that would limit the availability of guns in Virginia Monday.

The governor wants to bar convicted domestic abusers and those subject to a protective order from carrying a handgun and he would revoke conceal carry permits of Virginians who are delinquent in paying child support. He also wants to require background checks before a gun could be purchased at gunshows.

“The more difficult you make it for a criminal to purchase or receive a handgun or firearm, obviously it helps keep the community safer. Everybody should go through a background check. There’s no question,” McAuliffe tells WTOP.

The one gun per month limit was law in Virginia for 19 years before it was repealed in 2012 despite a push from Virginia Tech families, who asked then-Gov. Bob McDonnell to veto a bill repealing the measure.

The law was originally passed to curtail the flow of Virginia guns into other states, where they were used in crimes, a problem that continues today, McAuliffe says.

Manassas Del. Bob Marshall, who has championed putting more guns in the hands of teachers and college professors to combat campus violence like the massacres at Newtown and Virginia Tech, says that just because someone buys two guns at the same time doesn’t make them a criminal. He also says he doesn’t feel any changes need to be made to the background check system, which he says don’t increase safety.

Marshall says that McAuliffe’s real motive isn’t improving safety but that he is influenced by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose Independence USA PAC contributed heavily to McAuliffe’s election campaign.

But McAuliffe’s proposals are unlikely to gain any traction in the Republican-controlled legislature. And a spokesman for House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford, told the Associated Press that the governor’s announcement was “disappointing.”

McAuliffe says he hopes that lawmakers would consider what he calls common sense, anti-crime measures.

Related Stories:

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on Facebook.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up