The handgun-a-month law, which has been in place in Virginia since 1993, was repealed today by Governor Bob McDonnell.
The News Leader reports that several people who lost families members during the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 met with McDonnell this weekend to try and persuade him to veto the bill.
Andrew Goddard, whose son was wounded during the Virginia Tech shooting, said that Monday’s school shooting in Ohio should have been a reminder to McDonnell about how easy it is already for someone to get a gun. Goddard said:
“They have not learned a damn thing. Here we are watching kids dying in other states, and we’re going to be a purveyor of firearms for other states.”
Lori Haas, whose daughter was injured during the VT shooting, said:
“Getting rid of the one-handgun-a-month law will make it easier for gun traffickers to purchase handguns in bulk. There have been too many tragedies in other states fueled by guns that come from Virginia, and this will only make the situation worse.”
But politicians like Scott Lingamfelter, who sponsored the bill, said that the handgun-a-month law wasn’t effective and wouldn’t have much of an impact on gun trafficking. Lingamfelter said:
“I think Virginians deserve effective laws, and one handgun a month has been overtaken by technology and improved background checks. Criminals don’t go into gun stores, stand there in the bright light, hand over their driver’s license and stand there and wait for the vendor to see if they have a criminal record…. If you really want to get after gun crime, you get after people who use guns illegally.”
What do you think about the handgun-a-month law? Will gun violence spread due to easier access to firearms? Or was the bill unnecessary to begin with?