RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's Senate voted 21-19 Monday to lift the law restricting handgun purchases to one a month.
"Advanced technologies like instant background checks have made gun restrictions like this counter-productive," said the bill's sponsor Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County). "Over the years, it has become obvious that 'one-gun-a-month' only affected responsible gun owners and didn't deter criminals from obtaining handguns. Repealing this law will have a positive impact on law abiding citizens."
A newly Republican-leaning State Senate voted to repeal the 19-year old law, despite pressure from gun control advocates to keep the restriction in place.
"Virginia has had more than its share of horrific tragedies perpetrated by criminals with easy access to firearms," said Lori Haas, mother of Virginia Tech shooting survivor, Emily Haas. "It is a sad day when our legislators purposely make it easier for gun traffickers to do their dirty business."
"We want to convince everyone that we're a good state to do business in Virginia. And we've had a number of slogans here in Virginia, most recently, 'Virginia is for lovers,' said Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax). "We don't want Virginia's new slogan to be 'a gun-runner's paradise'. But with the passage of this bill, I worry that's where we're going."
Numerous exemptions over the years have disarmed much of the law, which gun rights advocates say is no longer necessary in a day of sophisticated background checks.
With both House and Senate approval, the bill now moves to Gov. Bob McDonell's desk. He has said he intends to sign the bill.