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Repeal Virginia's handgun rationing law

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Old 01-10-2012, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Repeal Virginia's handgun rationing law

"Repealing Virginia's handgun rationing law is a top priority for the Virginia Shooting Sports Association during the 2012 session of the Virginia General Assembly. In 1993, Gov. Doug Wilder signed legislation known as "one-gun-a-month." The premise behind the law was based on flawed data. Wilder and his gun ban lobby friends made the claim, based on a relative handful of firearm traces conducted in the 1980s under a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms program known as Project Lead, that Virginia was one of the main sources of guns used in crimes in New York, and such a distinction was an embarrassment for the commonwealth.

The problem with using BATF trace data for this purpose is the agency's firearms traces do not match guns to crimes. Additionally, BATF freely acknowledges that just because a firearm is traced does not mean it was used in a crime.

After 20 years, there is no credible research to prove the law is successful in stopping the purchase of multiple firearms for illegal trafficking to points north of the commonwealth. However, Dave Kopel, Second Amendment scholar and research director at the Independence Institute, has written a number of articles based on his own research that shows handgun rationing laws are anything but successful.

Targeting law-abiding gun owners by restricting handgun sales to one per month was unnecessary. There are better ways to prevent illegal interstate firearm trafficking. One method is BATF's Multiple Purchase Reporting Forms. The forms, which must be completed by federally licensed firearm dealers, alert the agency about every multiple handgun sale. BATF can use these forms to focus on purchases that are genuinely suspicious, like repeated large quantity purchases of firearms by one individual. And let's not forget that every purchase still requires a background check.

But the most important reason to repeal Virginia's handgun rationing law is the fact we are treating the vast majority of Virginians, who may want to purchase a firearm, as second-class citizens. In 2004, then-Gov.Mark Warner signed legislation that exempts from the handgun rationing law anyone with a concealed handgun permit. So, approximately 250,000 Virginians can walk into a gun shop and purchase as many handguns at one time as they wish. All other Virginians must wait 30 days between purchases.

Not every Virginia gun owner wishes to carry a concealed firearm. Virginia allows open carry. Gun owners exercising this option may choose not to get a CHP. Why should law-abiding Virginians be forced to go through the requirements and the cost of obtaining a CHP simply for the ability to purchase multiple handguns? They shouldn't. Law-abiding Virginians should be treated equally. Repeal "one gun-a-month."
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