Virginia Lawmakers Aim at 1-Gun-A-Month Rule

Critics say it's no longer effective

Virginia's one-gun-and-done law may become history.

A House of Delegates committee voted 15-6 to repeal the state's ban on buying more than one handgun a month.

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William County) sponsored the bill.

Supporters say there are so many exemptions to the law that it's not effective.

Opponents say it has moved Virginia from the nation's top supplier of guns used in crimes in 1993 when it was passed, to number six.

Lingamfelter argued that national background checks and other measures to prevent criminals from buying guns were not in place
when the one-gun-a-month provision passed. But opponents said another bill the committee passed minutes earlier that would exempt guns made and sold in Virginia from all federal laws -- including background checks -- would do away with those protections.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, argued that no other constitutional rights, like
those to attend church or write letters to the editor, are rationed, so neither should the Second Amendment right to own guns. The bill also is backed by the National Rifle Association, which spent nearly $1 million on candidates including Gov. Bob McDonnell
last year.

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Former Gov. Douglas Wilder, who pushed through the ban while in office, questioned why anyone needed more than one gun per month.

"We're not talking about limiting people's rights to hunt or own firearms or to have rifles," Wilder said. "How many guns do
you need, for God's sake? You can buy 12 a year, is that not enough?"

The bill now goes to the full House for a vote. Gov. Bob McDonnell said he'll sign the bill if it makes it to his desk.

Only Virginia, Maryland, California and New Jersey limit the number of handguns that can be bought each month. South Carolina
repealed its one-gun-a-month law in 2004.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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