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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

News Reports on Repeal of Handgun Rationing

Virginia newspapers have reports on yesterday's Senate vote repealing Virginia's one "gun-a-month" law.  Of particular note is this from the Richmond Times Dispatch:
On a 21-19 vote, the Virginia Senate passed legislation Monday to allow the purchase of more than one handgun a month, foretelling what is likely to be one of the most significant changes in Virginia's gun laws in 20 years.
The Washington Post (which covers Virginia news) spent much of its article sharing quotes from the other side:
Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) warned that lifting the cap would earn the commonwealth a new slogan to go along with “Virginia is for lovers”: “Virginia, gun-runners’ paradise.”

“I just don’t know what good could possibly come of this,” said Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax).
The Richmond Times Dispatch article included a photo of gun ban proponents Josh Horwitz and Lori Haas observing the vote.  The Virginian Pilot included this quote from Haas:
"Virginia has had more than its share of horrific tragedies perpetrated by criminals with easy access to firearms," said Lori Haas, whose daughter, Emily, survived the 2007 shooting massacre at Virginia Tech.

"It is a sad day when our legislators purposely make it easier for gun traffickers to do their dirty business."
Haas also took one of the two Democrats who voted for repeal to task - Senator John Edwards - whose district includes Virginia Tech.  Edwards responded that his vote reflected his views on gun rights and sited the mental health reforms he pushed after the Virginia Tech shootings.  He also noted he is opposed to restricting the ability for college campuses to control firearms on campuses.

Senator Saslaw had this little gem in his short remarks opposing the bill:
"If you need more than 240 handguns, I submit, something's wrong with you or something's gone terribly wrong with your life," Saslaw said during floor debate.
The Senate bill must be approved by the House of Delegates (as the companion House bill must be approved by the Senate) before they reach the Governor, who has said he will sign the bills.  Once signed, the repeal will be effective July 1, 2012.

Update: Here is the NPR report and Cam Edwards' interview with Senator Charles "Bill" Carrico, Sr., patron of SB 323.

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