“It’s coming back,” said Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Tuesday about his bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales, a bill which failed to pass on its first run through the Senate last month. [more]
VA One-Gun-a-Month Policy Buried, Focus now on Background Checks
The law that limited buyers to one firearm purchase per month and has ended Virginia’s reputation as the source for arsenals in the east coast is now gone. The law, which was by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, was put into permanent repeal by the Republic-run General Assembly.
Now anyone can go into any licensed gun store and buy a whole arsenal if one could so afford and of course pass the required instant criminal background check. Instead of mourning the end of the law, gun rights groups are instead celebrating. Gun control advocates who have fought for the law are concentrating more on other ways to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, like looking for ways to close the gun show loophole, and a more wide spread use of the FBI criminal background checks for firearm purchases.
Other factions, such as police and security officers, also want to enforce and toughen the current Brady Law and make FBI background checks mandatory in flea markets, gun shows, and for private transactions, with the purpose of filtering out felons, those who are mentally ill, and other undesirables from getting their hands on firearms.
The state of Virginia, before having the monthly handgun limit, was infamously known to be the source of handguns found in the hands of criminals as far as New York and other states. Federal authorities dubbed Interstate 95 from Virginia to New York the “Iron Corridor” due to the weapons flowing north from gun shops in Richmond, Hampton Roads and northern Virginia. In 1991, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered that 40 percent of the 1,236 guns found at crime scenes in New York was purchased in Virginia.
Illegal gun traffickers masked their activities by paying Virginia citizens without any criminal history to make multiple gun purchases, a practice referred to as “straw purchases.” Guns could also double as currency by drug dealers, who would take weapons to New York and trade them for narcotics. With Virginia’s law now dead, only three states left limit the quantity of monthly handgun purchases – Maryland, California and New Jersey.