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Virginia To Repeal Limit On Handgun Purchases

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Virginia is moving to formally repeal the law that restricts some Virginia residents to purchasing just one gun a month.
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Virginia is moving to formally repeal the law that restricts some Virginia residents to purchasing just one gun a month.

The Virginia state senate has approved legislation to repeal a law that limits the purchase of handguns to one per month, a policy that has been in place since 1993.

Then-Governor Doug Wilder pushed for the law to restrict sales of multiple guns used in crimes -- often in other states. Later, criminal background checks were enacted prior to gun purchases. Under the current laws, exceptions include private gun sales, people whose guns were stolen, and many others.

The bill's sponsor, GOP Senator Bill Carrico, said the law is now ineffective: "If you currently have a concealed handgun permit, you can also purchase more than one handgun per month, which allows about 287,000 permit-holders to do so."

Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw said people have been able buy plenty of guns since the limit was enacted two decades ago.

"If you could only purchase one gun a month, right now, you would only be able to have in your house 240 handguns," says Saslaw. "Now if you need more than 240 handguns, I'd submit something is wrong with you."

The House and Senate bills must still pass the opposite chambers before they can head to the Governor, but are now likely to do so.

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