A coalition of gun violence prevention groups in Virginia has criticized the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee of the Virginia General Assembly for holding a surprise subcommittee meeting to pass HB 49, a bill that would repeal Virginia’s one-handgun-per-month law.
The bill was pre-filed in early January by Republican State Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, who is a retired U.S. Army colonel and sits on the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee. HB 49 would repeal the state’s law that limits Virginia residents to one handgun purchase every 30 days.
According to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, the subcommittee had originally announced that it would conduct no further meetings, leaving HB 49 unreported. However, on Feb. 10, it reconvened late in the day giving only a few hours’ notice to the public to approve the piece of legislation.
"This is back-room politics at its very worst," said Andy Goddard, president of the Richmond Chapter of the Million Mom March, adding that the current law was designed to curb illegal gun trafficking in the Commonwealth.
"Attempting to repeal this law under the cover of a blizzard, in a surprise meeting, is reprehensible," he added.
Vagunforum.net says that only three other states ration handgun purchases—California, Maryland and New Jersey.