17 years ago, then Virginia Governor Doug Wilder put a stop to the high volume illicit gun trade in the state which was supplying handguns used in up to 60% of the murders and mayhem along the Eastern Seaboard. Much as gun dealers in Texas supply the arms to the Mexican Cartels which result in over 2,000 deaths a year in just one Mexican border city…
Virgnia is ready to step in as the armaments capital of the East Coast, and perhaps steal a bit of the carnage business from Texas.
This isn’t about the ability to buy a gun in the state – this is about the ability to buy mass quantities of guns. The ability to purchase quantities of guns suitable to mayhem on a small war scale.
RICHMOND, FEB. 14 — A little more than a year ago, Virginia gun owners joined millions of Americans who began stockpiling weapons for fear that Barack Obama would win the White House and push for new gun controls.
Now that the former Illinois senator is president, the prophesied gun control measures have not come to pass, and Virginia’s gun advocates are feeling almost giddy about their chances to loosen restrictions on buying and carrying firearms.
With a new Republican governor, attorney general and Republican-led House of Delegates, pro-gun legislators in Virginia are pushing a raft of bills, including some that would have had little chance in previous years.
Among them is a bid to fend off federal regulation of firearms and ammunition made and sold only in Virginia and a proposal to repeal the 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month, a signature achievement of former governor L. Douglas Wilder (D).
The repeal sailed through the House on Monday, despite opposition from law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church, and delegates also passed the bill on federal regulation. Both measures face an uphill climb in the Senate.
“You shouldn’t have your constitutional rights rationed. Do we ration the First Amendment? Why not one church service a month?” said Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), who is sponsoring the repeal of the one-gun-a-month law.
Other bills are designed to swell the ranks of Virginia’s approximately 214,300 concealed-weapons carriers and open more doors to them. On Friday, the House approved a bill, HB505, that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in establishments that serve alcohol, as long as they refrain from drinking. On Tuesday, the Senate is expected to take up a similar bill, SB334, sponsored by Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta).
In previous years, the guns-in-bars bill cleared both chambers but was vetoed by then-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D). Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has expressed support for the measure.
Similar efforts to loosen gun restrictions are underway in Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Among a dozen pro-gun bills under consideration in Arizona this year is a measure to allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit, effectively abolishing existing training and certification requirements. Wyoming’s House overwhelmingly passed a similar bill last week.