Governor Signs Law Lifting Limit on Buying Guns

By Alex Wiggins -Capital News Service

RICHMOND – With the stroke of his pen Tuesday, Gov. Bob McDonnell removed the limit on how many handguns Virginians can buy each month.

McDonnell, a Republican, signed legislation repealing the 19-year-old law prohibiting the purchase of more than one handgun per month. The repeal takes effect July 1.

The limit had been enacted in 1993 by then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat. Legislators were responding to reports that guns purchased in Virginia were used in crimes in other states.
Democrats criticized the efforts to repeal the limits.

“Despite what supporters of this bill say, this bill will make it easier for gunrunners to export violence from Virginia,” said Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington.

She had voted against both of the measures McDonnell signed: House Bill 940, sponsored by Republican Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter of Woodbridge, and Senate Bill 323, sponsored by Republican Sen. Charles Carrico of Galax.

Carrico, Lingamfelter and other supporters of the legislation argued that the one-gun-a-month limit has been ineffective and that it merely hinders law-abiding citizens, not criminals. They also said instant background checks on gun buyers have eliminated the need for the limit.

Families of the victims of the April 2007 Virginia Tech shootings asked McDonnell to veto the legislation eliminating the gun-purchase limit. McDonnell spoke with victims’ families during a telephone conference call.

During the call, the governor said he felt he had a duty to support the Second Amendment.

Some Democrats felt the same way and also voted to repeal the limit on buying handguns.

“I don’t see the reason why someone would need to own a gun a month. I don’t think there’s any reason for a person to have to buy a gun a year. But the fact is the Second Amendment guarantees people have a right to own and possess firearms unless they’re disqualified somehow,” said Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Charlottesville.


  1. Jesse Russell says:

    I have no problems with good citizens owning guns, but we all know that the normal guy doesn’t even come close to purchasing a gun a month much less more than that. So my question is, who does and what is he doing with all those guns?

    • I agree with your sentiment however I think it has been portrayed in the public forum in a way that is somewhat misleading.

      I see it as a business issue as well as a rights issue. For example if you have ever purchased a handgun you know you are standing in front of a display case full of fine weapons. People are often inclined to buy more than one at that moment. It doesn’t make them a nut, it makes them a consumer. Now if they did that every month then you would have to start raising some concerns.

      Any merchant would tell you that the opportunity to deal on a multiple purchase is money in the bank.

      So I’m glad it’s gone for several reasons

  2. There have been a couple of times I would’ve liked to have bought two guns at once but couldn’t. I’m glad this law is gone

    • Mr Mister says:

      Coz as a Va resident, you need more than 12 handguns a year.

      • Because being a student of history and retired military, I collect military weapons. So I can now add to my M-1 Garand, M-1 Carbine, 1911 Colt .45, Desert Eagle .44, my very expensive Lugar and a few others. And if I want to do it more than twice a month, I can.

        • Mr Mister says:

          You must have a hard time protecting yourself from an intruder shooting all of those at once.

          • I only need one in that instance. If I think someone is in the house, I account for my family. Anyone else downstairs get shot. Immediately.

            Otherwise, there are people in this world that just like shooting guns

          • Wow, what an arguement! How about this. I’m sure you own more than one car in your household. You must have a hard time driving all of those at once.

  3. Roscoe Evans says:

    I have a brother-in-law who is considered a whack-job by every other member of the extended family. He has at least two dozen firearms and still is buying, and has advised me that I need to add to my arsenal of 4 personal weapons, before President Obama gets re-elected and takes away my Second Amendment rights.

    I’ve asked him several times why he “needs” so many weapons, and he has no cogent response of any sort.


    I’m certain there are hunters and recreational shooters who “need” multiple weapons. But I would have no trouble whatsoever with a license and permit process that tracked us all.

    • clarke conservative says:

      “a license and permit process that tracked us all.”

      In 1939 Poland has a very efficient permit process whereby all gun holders had to register their firearms with the local government. When the Nazis came into town the “SS” immediately went to the Town Hall to confiscate those lists. The “SS” then proceeded to every address on the ‘gun permit’ list, knocked on the door and asked the occupant to hand over the weapon. If you denied you had a weapon they shot you, and took the weapon any way.

      Albeit, there was no effective resistance during Nazi occupation of Poland. In France, they did not have gun registration, thus there was a very effective resistance effort, which help the Allies conqueor Europe in 1944.

      Do not mess with the 2nd amendment.

      • Hmmm... says:

        Thanks for the comedy attempt…aka your lame attempt at overly simplistic justification. You overlook quite a few facts there:
        1. THe German invasion of Poland was “blitzkrieg” at its finest. The country’s army and air force, nascent as they were, were severely overmatched, while Great Britain, France, and others wrung their hands.
        2. France fell almost as fast – and the Vichy traitors were complicit. Was there an organized resistance? Yes, but France was not as landlocked as Poland was between Germany, Prussia, and Russia.

      • Roscoe Evans says:

        Thanks for World War Two in a Nutshell, by The American Rifleman. You really should attribute your sources.

        My recollection is a bit different. Poland, I recall, was bulldozed by the Soviets and the Nazis, yet the Poles fought them both, from inside and outside of Europe, with every weapon they got their hands on. Meanwhile, the French were busy throwing up their hands and wetting their pants. They wet their pants for four years running, then wet them again after the Normandy Invasion, when they were asked to assist the Allies. Sure, there were French Partisans. There were Albanian and Slavic and Italian Partisans, too. But The French Resistence was pretty much the creation of wartime propaganda, and the more one reads about it, the more muddled that history becomes.

        DeGaulle (sp) took a fair number of Free French to England, to dry out their pants and whip them in to fighting shape. Except for them and for “Casablanca,” The French Resistance would be little more than a myth.

        I think I have all the weaponry I ever will need, but if I am wrong, I’ll ge happy to hide behind you, next time the Nazis show up in Northern Virginia.

        I favor registration, by the way, because I have known too many drunks, druggies, psychos and rapists who carry. Kids, and demented geezers, too, come to think of it, one of whom tried to shoot a cop before he was disarmed.

        Meanwhile, I will be supporting the unfettered access of our populace to all of their constitutional rights, not just those favored by Governor Bob.

  4. I wonder how many are going to start to show up in our schools now.

    • Well, you know, back in the day, I distinctly remember taking my 30.06 to school in the back of my car so I could join my Dad and uncles hunting in the late afternoon. I also remember on a field trip to Harpers Ferry one year, all of us took our spending money and bought Barrow jack knives, AND showed them to Mr Bailey on the way home. I did all of that with the understanding that if I pulled that knife out in school, or flashed that deer rifle, that my [redacted] would first be beaten in school, and them beaten like a drum when I got home.

      Nowadays, there’s very little accountablity with kids that have been raised in the past 10-15 years or so. And even if a parent wanted to discipline a kid, as soon as word got out that the kid get an [redacted] whoopin’, the Federalies would be in the parents house, taking the kid and charging the parents with child abuse and other Federal terrorism charges.

      Such is the world liberalism has wrought

  5. goodgracious says:

    Buy those guns people, and oh, yeh, deny women the right to terminate a pregnancy unless she submits to more scrutiny than those who buy as many guns as they want.

    I guess no one sees the difference here?

    • I see someone who doesn’t know the hoops you have to jump thru, and will still have to jump thru, to buy a gun. And yet in some places you can get an abortion with no parental consent

  6. Roscoe Evans says:

    What hoops do you have to jump through to buy a gun? I bought two in Virginia. For both of them, all I had to do was walk in and give them my address and credit card. Another, I bought from Cabelas Gun Library, and it was shipped to a local dealer. I picked it up from him, for all of $10.00, total, for a “processing fee.” I got a $600.00 gun for $410.00, and no hassles.

    Why should a woman need parental consent for an abortion? There’s simply no legal or logical reason for a third person to be involved in a woman’s decisionmaking respecting her own body–not a judge, not a parent, not a husband or a boyfriend.

    My guns are not necessities. For some women, in some instances, abortions are.

    I wouldn’t want you involved in my gun or car or house purchase; and I wouldn’t want you involved in any medical procedure that my wife or daughter might need.

    • And they ran a background check on you when you gave them that info, did they not? And that’s just for an over the counter gun. Class 3 weapons are a whole other matter still. And even a rudimentary check is more than what happens in some cases for abortions where you’re offing a baby.

    • women!!! NOT kids or teen!!!!

  7. Actually Mr Evans you would have had to provide a Virginia Drivers license, and a second form of ID that had the same address on it.

    Then you would have to fill out a Federal form 4473, filling out your personal information, and then answering several questions.

    After that you would of filled out a Va State form SP-65, giving yet more personal information to the state of Virginia.

    Then that would have been transmitted by phone or computer to perform a background check with the Virginia State Police.

    If all checked out ok, then you would pay your bill and be free to walk out with your new purchase, as any law abiding citizen should.

    Out of the 50 states, only three still continue to place a limit on the number of handguns one may purchase in a month through a dealer. It was an archaic law that only hindered law abiding citizens from purchasing as many as they wanted.

    If you want to be really worried about something… anyone in Virginia can buy as many guns as they want from private citizens with no background checks and no limits on how many they buy. That is the same country wide for the most part.

    These one gun a month laws only affected folks going through the hoops of paperwork and background checks at a dealer. Law abiding, good citizens who have nothing to hide in their background.

    It was time for this law to come to an end, it served no real practical purpose.

    We can argue back and forth all day about how many one should have and whether or not it is anyone’s business…. that really does not matter though when you realize the facts of the law.

    • Roscoe Evans says:

      My point was that the process of buying my guns was innocuous and quick. I doubt the entire process took 15 minutes. If that paperwork was too much for you to cope with, you have my sympathy.

      If you are opposed to laws that serve no real practical purpose, look to the Virginia General Assembly. The ultrasound, anti-abortion law is calculated only to frustrate women who already are in distress, and any other proffered rationale is a joke.

      The only connection between the two laws is that they show how governmental procedures can be utilized either to facilitate or to complicate our lives, depending on the prevailing political philosophy of our state legislature. And that’s absurd.

      • “The only connection between the two laws is that they show how governmental procedures can be utilized either to facilitate or to complicate our lives, depending on the prevailing political philosophy of our state legislature. And that’s absurd.”

        Using this logic, you should be happy the one a month gun law is gone. And I agree, it was absurd.

      • Not too much to cope with at all, but I am a law abiding citizen.

        I simply put the information out there because you left out quite a lot of information, and if you are going to say something in a public forum, be ready to be called on it when you mislead folks.

        This has nothing to do with the abortion issue. If you have something to say about that, then say it on that LOE, but since you put it here…

        I continue to be amazed at Liberals being against rights of the people across the board.

        If you champion rights of a woman having an abortion, why would you not champion her rights to purchase as many firearms as she chooses.

        I am a conservative, but recently have come to have a deep respect for a family member who is a Liberal. She is a Liberal because she truly believes in helping folks out, across the board not just democrat platform issues.

        I can respect that.

        • Roscoe Evans says:

          What’s there to be “called on”?

          I said, accurately and truthfully, that the three firearms I have bought while living in Virginia cost me virtually no time, and virtually no hassle. If you are saying that is not true, then you are living in a parallel and fictional universe. And I don’t know or care what the titles are of the forms I signed, because none of them slowed me down or held me up. If they had, I would have dealt with them appropriately.

          I posted my comments about guns and abortions in response to the non-com’s comments on the same subject. That’s how comments and criticism of comments work, at least for me. You sound like the kind of guy who expects me to fill out the right form or stand in the right line to say what I have to say. Sorry, pal, but your status as a “law abiding citizen” just doesn’t qualify you to make that sort of demand.

          Congratulations to you though, for being a big enough man to “respect” a woman, despite the fact that she’s a “Liberal.” I’m sure that means an awful, awful lot.

          • Dreamer says:

            “What’s there to be “called on”?”

            How about this:

            “I bought two in Virginia. For both of them, all I had to do was walk in and give them my address and credit card”

            This sir is totally and completely untrue. Either you did not remember all that was involved in the background process, or you lied.

            Based on your previous posts over many LOE’s, I am guessing you tried to marginalize the process of buying guns because you think it is too easy and are trying to convince others of your skewed fact as well.

            After all, if you say it long enough it must be true. I am tired of folks making up their own truth to fit their own little agenda.

            How about we just don’t say it if it is not accurate and true?

            If not, then do not be surprised when someone comes along and points out your deviation from the truth.

            Liberal or Conservative, if you have to skew the truth then you have already lost.

          • Roscoe Evans says:

            No Dreamer, I did not lie, and had no reason to lie. I’ve got no agenda, and I have no reason to skew facts or to “marginalize the process of buying guns.” I really do not care much about “the process of buying guns,” except when I am buying my own guns. I do find your stated interest in what you think I think to be curious, and, frankly, perverse.

            I made the innocuous comment that my gun purchases were quick and easy. I did not come here to provide a treatise on “Gun Purchasing In Virginia, 1990 Through 2010,” and I made no pretense that there was no computer check or paperwork; but said, truthfully, that the process was inconsequential, and took no appreciable time.

            I bought two guns in the 1990’s; one in 2010. None of the purchases was time consuming. My son bought 3 guns at a gun show in Virginia. He tells me that his experience was similar.

            You want to make the process seem complex and burdensome, with your citations to form titles and numbers and so on. I wasn’t frustrated or slowed down or confused by the paperwork in any of my purchases. You sound like the kind of guy who came here with an agenda, skewing the facts of what I said because you’ve read my comment on other LOE’s (your word, Dreamer), and you’ve cast me as a stinkin Liberal, and you want to marginalize what I say. My guess is that, if I said it takes me 10 minutes to pump and pay for my gas, you’d come up with a treatise about the pump and the computer payment process, and argue that I was lying about how simple it was.

            You seem to divide our populace, right down to the members of your own family, into Liberals and Conservatives, then treat them according to your preconceived notions as to what those words mean.

            I don’t play that game.

            I have no idea how long you think it “really” takes to make a gun purchase these days, but my guess (a practical, not a “Liberal” guess), is that you think the process takes too long and that it’s burdensome, and so on.

            I don’t care.

            But, since this one point is so very important, I checked the handy internet. My sources there show it can take days if there is any suspicion that the applicant is not a “law abiding citizen;” but that otherwise, the computer check can take 30 seconds, and the entire process, 20 minutes.

            Here’s one source. You can look up others to back you up.

            Enjoy your Second Amendment Rights all you want. I’ll enjoy all of my rights, every day of the week.

  8. New business coming to town says:

    We need a reputable local firearm dealer in Berryville

    • Right Winger says:

      A good gunsmith I know is located in Boyce.

    • There was one where the cookie guy is, then a soap store (?). So many businesses fail in this town it’s hard to keep up.

      • Right Winger says:

        It’s a bedroom community because the BOS wants it that way.

        • no're wrong says:

          It’s not the BOS that want it that way. It’s us..the ones that live here and work here and raise our kids here. We want it that way. We want to know our neighbors. We want to see open land. We want to know who are kids are going to school with. We were born and raised here, we did not just one day decide to move here and change things. We want a nice quiet safe place to raise our kids. If we have to drive 15 min to Winchester for something then so be it. People think nothing of driving over the mountain an hour or more a day each way instead of just living there where there are plenty of amenities..but will then come back here to where they live and then complain….why?

          • We all want that too. But the BOS won’t pay for a decent school system. They force us to live on the cheap, when we are one of the richest counties in Virginia. The BOS is only interested in protecting their interests and the interests of the rich landowners. They all paid for their children to go to private schools, and want everyone else to do the same, so they tear down our school system in order to do so.

          • really?... says:

            That’s not true. Alot of those kids (I won’t say all) went to the public schools. We have alot of children who have graduated and gone on to do great things whether we are on a shoestring budget or not. The reason is that most of the teachers actually care about the kids and also alot of parents…. that’s where a close knit community comes in.

          • Technically…before the election, only 1 of the supervisors had that distinction of having kids go thru the public schools they fund. After the most recent election, that is now 2 .

        • The BOS are elected by the citizens…

  9. Mr Mister says:

    Gee look where it is easy to buy guns. No wonder our schools are less safe these days. No limits on guns in Ohio either. Didn’t something just happen there. Remeber guns don’t kill people……..

    • I’d like to know where that CHILD got the gun he used in Ohio. I’m certain that he did not walk into a gun shop and buy one or more than one since it is illegal for a CHILD to own or posses a handgun. The same with every CHILD that has ever taken a gun to school and commited an illegal act with it. The CHILD more than likely got the gun from the street, stole it or got it from his own home where it may have been stored unsecured. Guns have and will find there way into schools and into the hands of criminals whether you are allowed to purchase one, more or none a month. With that said I dont think anyone should limit law abiding citizens of the right to purchase one, two or more firearms. Buy the logic of only one gun a month saving lives maybe there should be a push for beer companies to stop selling six packs and go to just individual (single) sales that way noone drives drunk anymore. “Remeber guns don’t kill people……..” You’re right! It’s the idiots and criminals who have them in their hands that kill people. I have two guns in my home and neither have ever killed anyone. (God willing I pray I will never be placed in a position to make that decision). Simply put, until it can be guaranteed that a criminal or the mentally unstable cannot get their hands on a gun then leave the law abiding alone!

      “If guns kill people then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk and spoons made Rosie Odonnel fat”. Author Unknown

      • Mr Mister says:

        But most of the mass murderers have gotten their guns legally. Remember the Va Tech incident? He bought his at a Va gun dealer. There are too many loop holes in the Va l gun law anyway. You can buy guns through classified adds without a backround check, legally. I just think it’s sad that the GOP turned it’s back on James Brady. Oh that’s right, Hinkley bought his gun legally too. I’m sure they were all law abiding citizens before they commited a crime with a firearm, weren’t they?

        • Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were referencing the Ohio school shooting with the juvenile shooter. Guess I was right on that one so we will now try to keep up with you as you jump to the adult shooters. Unfortunately yes a lot of “mass murderers” have gotten their guns legally. I will admit there is no perfect way to prevent it. If nothing shows up on the background check then what else can you do? Since we want to go on the whole “GOP” “Liberal” kick/bashing then let’s look at this. I believe the Brady Bill, which was in fact signed into law by “Liberal” Bill Clinton, wanted a five day waiting period for all gun purchases. If approved then let’s see, the average month contains 30 days. 30/5 = 6. So buy your own argument you are ok with purchasing 6 guns for an average month? Probably not but I just used some of your facts. The Brady Bill states that the “National Instant Criminal Background Check System” maintained by the FBI is required for all gun purchases. BUT, the Brady Bill also states that “In some states, proof of a previous background check can be used to bypass the NICS check. For example, a state-issued concealed carry permit usually includes a background check equivalent to the one required by the Act. Other alternatives to the NICS check include state-issued handgun purchase permits or mandatory state or local background checks”. Simply put the Brady Bill allows states to bypass the NICS background check. To your final statement, yes it appears Hinkley did purchase multiple firearms legally before any indication of his planned events. How is anyone to know what another is going to do in the future? I guess the Mayan’s could have helped us out there with a desk calendar, what do you think? I’m sure that NOT ALL of them were law abiding citizens. And as for the horrible events at Virginia Tech, I’m sure he did purchase his guns legally. Should he have been able to? NO! Why? Because there were too many red flags to indicate violence in his future. Did those flags pop up on a background check? Probably not. Why? Too many laws in place to protect the medical records of the mentally impaired, criminally deviant, criminally insane or whatever you want to call them. I won’t accuse any political party for those laws as I don’t know who brought them forward or signed them into law. How about this. Have you looked into how many “mass murders” happened at the hands of those WITHOUT guns? Back to VT where shortly after the mass shootings there was a young lady whom I believe was decapitated. NO GUN INVOLVED! Or this: Just 10 years ago I had to bury a lifelong friend who died in his own home at the hands of an intruder. A 15 yr. old teenager that stabbed my friend 37 times as he tried to protect his own home, wife and 2 children from the danger that lurked in the dark hallway. NO GUN INVOLVED! Danger and violence is real and is out there. Maybe not around every corner but it is there. If you find a way to cure it then buddy I’m behind you 100%. But until then don’t badger those who choose to defend their lives or the lives of their loved ones, or even complete strangers, with what they choose. Would the world be a safer place if guns had never been invented? In my opinion, No. It would only be a world with violence occurring with quieter weapons of choice. But that’s just my opinion and I’m ok with not everyone agreeing with me.

  10. been here a long time says:

    Just a small correction re: BOS member not only sent his child to Clarke Co. schools, but all of his family( with the exception of his wife) went to school here . You might check your facts before making such a statement.

  11. been here a long time says:

    Mike Hobart who is chair of BOS also sent his children to school here. Mike was a member of the
    CCHS class of 1966.