Under the urging of VA Attorney General Mark Herring, Judge Timothy K Sanner denied an injunction against the reinstatement of Virginia’s “one-handgun-a-month” law, despite the argument that the law is unconstitutional. Herring views the denial as a “huge win for public safety.”
The Impact of the One Handgun a Month Injunction
You may recall that back in April, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed multiple restrictive gun control measures into law.
The sweeping legislation was introduced in response to the Virginia Beach shooting in May 2019 that killed 12 people and injured 4 others. The new laws are set to take effect on July 1.
Five 2nd Amendment advocacy groups, including the Virginia Citizens Defense League, filed an injunction against the law limiting purchases of handguns to one every 30 days, making any additional purchases a Class 1 misdemeanor.
There are a few exceptions to the law, including those with a valid VA concealed handgun permit, law enforcement officers, and licensed private security companies, but the intention is to keep average citizens from obtaining several handguns that can be resold in other states.
Virginia is often a “source state” for guns used in crimes in other states, reports say. Herring has spoken about Virginia’s priorities in recent years to “limit gun trafficking” and “stem the flow of illegal handguns.”
Virginia previously followed the one handgun a month law from 1993 to 2012.
Republican Governor Bob McDonnell repealed it in 2012. Governor Northam has been vocal in his support of further gun control legislation since he took office in January 2018.
Newly Democratic-led General Assembly Trampling on Constitutional Rights
In January of 2019, Northam introduced 7 gun control bills, of which 5 will become law this week.
They were previously introduced and failed in a Republican-controlled General Assembly.
The recently Democratic-led General Assembly has been quick to pass laws advancing a progressive agenda, overturning decades of Republican-approved policies.
Republicans like Virginia Sen. Bill Stanley feels that the General Assembly is trampling on the rights of law-abiding gun owners and that “when Virginia wakes up and sees what they’ve just done, potentially in one session, I think you may see a sea change occur in this body two years from now.”
That change may already be brewing, as 22,000 Virginians protested the new gun laws in Richmond in January.
More Changes to Come
In addition to the one handgun a month law, July 1 will bring:
- Required background checks for all firearm purchases and transfers, including private sales
- The “Red Flag Bill” that can separate an individual from their firearms for up to 180 days if they “pose a substantial risk of injury to himself or others”
- Required reporting of a lost or stolen firearm within 48 hours
- An increased penalty for leaving a loaded and unsecured firearm in the presence of a child under the age of 14 years old
All of the new laws bring penalties of fines and jail time, up to $100,000 and 10 years, respectively.
Virginia continues to move ahead with a progressive agenda on topics from voter registration to the minimum wage to gun control.
They are the perfect example of how quickly our constitutional rights can be infringed upon in just one election cycle.
What's your take on the one-handgun-a-month law? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!