Virginia is on the verge of repealing a 20-year-old law that limits people to buying one gun per month. Both legislative chambers have passed it, and the governor vowed to sign it. But according to The Washington Post, this "makes no sense."
The law was enacted in 1993 to stop the flow of illegal guns to the Northeast. The Post points out that in 1991, the ATF reported that 40% of guns confiscated at crime scenes in New York City were from Virginia.
The law worked, which is why The Post writes in an editorial Monday that it is "unfathomable" that it is about to be repealed:
In 1995, a pro-gun lawmaker gave the Virginia State Crime Commission the task of studying the limit’s impact. The commission found that the law had significantly reduced the number of Virginia guns found at crime scenes beyond its borders. A contemporaneous study by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now known as the Brady Center) showed that the limit reduced by 66 percent the number of Virginia-bought guns recovered from crimes scenes in the Northeast corridor.
So why repeal it?
Virginia advocates of repeal argue that limiting law-abiding state residents to one purchase per month spits in the face of their Second Amendment rights. Does the Second Amendment guarantee a right to purchase dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of deadly weapons each month? Even with the one-gun-a-month limit, collectors and those who could show a need for additional guns for personal or business protection were permitted to petition the state for an exception; the vast majority of these requests were approved.
Thus, The Post writes:
To discard a law that has been effective for almost 20 years makes no sense.