Handgun Rationing Dead in Virginia

Dave Hardy notes the Senate passed a repeal of one-gun-a-month. It’s on its way to Governor McDonnell, who has said he will sign it. [UPDATE: I’m told the House and Senate passed different versions of the bill, so it will take another vote of the House on the Senate bill before it’ll head to the Governor.] This is a significant victory, since I believe Virginia and South Carolina were the only states guilted by the New York establishment into instituting these useless schemes. South Carolina repealed theirs several years ago, and now Virginia is finally nearly rid of it. Let use review quickly where criminals get their guns from:

Purchased from --           13.9
  Retail store               8.3
  Pawnshop                   3.8
  Flea market                1.0
  Gun show                   0.7
Friends or family           39.6
Street/illegal source       39.2

One can see that the most significant source is friends and family, and sources like that are not going to be affected by any rationing scheme, since they aren’t doing their straw buying in large quantities. It’s also been shown that straw buyers, in states that have instituted rationing, are just forced to rotate their buyers more often. It’s often falsely believed by our opponents that most trafficking of guns are large and organized. Most crime gun sources are not organized sources. Even this relatively hostile study notes:

Multiple sales are probably fairly common, considering that three-quarters of gun owners possess more than one gun (Cook and Ludwig, 1996: 15).17 Yet many who purchase guns in multiple sales are likely to be low-risk buyers (e.g., gun collectors), so the risk that guns sold in multiple sales are used in crime is likely to vary across different groups of buyers.

The study admits there’s no real evidence that gun rationing works as a solution to straw purchasing. I don’t think that’s changed in the past few years. Given that this impacts a fundamental constitutional right, that ought to mean that it’s prudent for Virginia to eliminate this law.

10 thoughts on “Handgun Rationing Dead in Virginia”

  1. This was a mess when I was picking up the guns I had shipped down when I moved down there from Massachusetts. There was an exemption for concealed carry license holders, and I assumed I needed to apply for a new one since I had technically moved to another state even when my Virginia license still had several years on it. I moved back before the original expired. When I got a Virginia driver’s license again, the State Police automatically tied my carry license back to it and honored it again.

    Anyway, point of that was that I had a valid carry license. But, my license was from the SW corner of the state where things were mostly still done by hand and typewriter. Apparently, northern counties had some kind of number on each license that mine didn’t have. The dealer told me he couldn’t give me both guns because he couldn’t fill out the form correctly without that number. He called the State Police and asked them what to do. They told him to give me both guns because the license was valid. He did, but if I was working with a big box store or a dealer who couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone, then I would have been denied both of my handguns even though I followed the law.

  2. Hey, maybe now we can get rid of the one gun a month law in NJ too!

    But I think this blog will revert to it’s old name and the name ring true long before we see any easing of the laws in this state…

    1. We beat back a pretty draconian ammo ban just last week. The tide is turning in NJ, and we need everyone’s help to keep the momentum going.

  3. Criminals have a certain fairly narrow want list when they go gun hunting. They want a “police caliber” handgun, obtained either by direct theft, or cheaply enough that it can be discarded without much financial loss if the need arises.

    Generally speaking, the cost consideration limits the purchase price to $200 or less, usually less, and prevents lawful purchase. In some areas, the going price is $20 less than the amount the State gives a prisoner upon release.

    As far as a source of guns are concerned, a criminals “friends and family” are virtually certain to be themselves criminals. So “friends” guns and “street” guns are both best described as firearms obtained from “street dealers.”

    Those comments made, the rule of thumb for recovered crime guns is 92% street and 8% lawfully purchased. Which is quite close to the sum of the numbers from the DOJS study you quote.


  4. This still doesn’t fix the serious problem that currently exists with the VFTP, the state “instant” check system. It’s so slow and backlogged now that it can take days for people with clean records to get approved for a transfer; this is killing dealers, especially at gun shows. The big ones can end a show with scores of sales still pending. That’s big money lost. All of the bills to move us to NICS, either partially or completely, have failed this year, as far as I know.

    It’s hard to get excited about getting rid of one relatively minor, easily-avoided roadblock when there’s a great big one still in place. Not being able to get more than one handgun per thirty days if you don’t meet one of the exceptions is not the same as not being able to get any gun at all from any dealer. (I guess because the delays appear random they’re not going to get any judicial scrutiny, not that the courts would do anything anyway.)

    1. This still doesn’t fix the serious problem that currently exists with the VFTP

      My first thought reading this was “What do you have against Tam’s blog?” :)

  5. OK, but at some point someone must have bought a gun legally before giving it on to their relatives or selling it illegaly, right? Is there a way to research that?

  6. You are correct that the bill has to go to the House for a vote (just as the House version passed last week – HB940 – has to go to the Senate) before it goes to the Governor, but not because there are differences in the bills, they are identical. When signed into law, (as the Washington Post again reported today the Governor said he would do) the repeal will take affect July 1, 2012.

  7. Commiefornia passed the one-handgun-a-month limit back in 1999, and it is still the law today.
    Sadly, in many areas of gun-control California remains the worst place in the nation.

    And I live here. Lucky me.

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