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Debate over handgun purchases will be back at the General Assembly

In this 2016 file photo, handguns are displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas.
John Locher, File
/
AP
In this 2016 file photo, handguns are displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas.

Virginia currently has a one handgun a month limit, unless the gun buyer has a concealed carry permit.

"There's no data to support that more crime happens from someone who is not a concealed carry permit holder versus someone who is," says Delegate-elect Tim Anderson. Anderson is a Republican who was recently elected to the House of Delegates from Virginia Beach.

One of his first bills would ditch the one-handgun-a month limitation. "You still have to go through a background check to buy a gun, to buy two guns, to buy five guns. And it also doesn't apply to rifles," Anderson says. "So you can go and buy as many rifles as you want. But it only applies to pistols."

Read the test of Anderson's bill here

Lori Haas at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence says there's lots of data that shows the one-handgun-a-month limitation has cut down on firearms trafficking. "For years and years and years, suppliers of handguns to criminals knew they could come to Virginia, buy 10, drive out of state and sell them on the street. And that's exactly what they did."

The one-handgun a month limit was originally put in place back in 1993 and signed by Governor Doug Wilder.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.