Americans are rolling back gun control laws passed in the last 20 years, and we in the Old Dominion are doing our bit:
In Virginia, the success of new pro-gun laws is partly a result of the Republican Party’s taking the governor’s office after eight years of Democratic control.
A major setback for state gun control advocates was this week’s House vote repealing the one-gun-per-month law, which was passed in 1993 under Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, and has long been upheld as the state’s signature gun control restriction.
Supporters of limiting gun purchases to one a month said the law was important to avoid Virginia’s becoming the East Coast’s top gun-running hub. Opponents dismissed the concern.
“We shouldn’t get rid of our Second Amendment rights because some people in New York City want to abuse theirs,” Robert G. Marshall, a Republican delegate from Manassas who supported repeal of the one-gun-a-month limit, told reporters.
Gun control advocates hoped to win new restrictions after the Virginia Tech massacre on April 16, 2007, in which a student, Seung-Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people before turning a gun on himself.
After the shooting, Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, pushed for stronger gun control measures. But last year the legislature rejected a bill requiring background checks for private sales at gun shows and repealed a law that Mr. Kaine had supported to prohibit anyone from carrying concealed weapons into a club or restaurant where alcohol is served.
In previous years, the guns-in-bars bill cleared both chambers but was vetoed by Mr. Kaine. But the new governor, Robert F. McDonnell, has said he supports the measure.
Virginia is also considering a measure adopted in Montana and Tennessee that declares that firearms made and retained in-state are beyond the authority of Congress. The measure is primarily a challenge to Congress’s power to regulate commerce among the states.