HD28 - Study of Virginia's Law on Handgun Purchase Limits

  • Published: 1996
  • Author: Virginia State Crime Commission
  • Enabling Authority: Letter request from the House Committee for Courts of Justice

Executive Summary:
During the 1995 session of the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate Clinton Miller of Woodstock introduced House Bill 2427 to repeal Code of Virginia § 18.2-308.2:2, the one handgun-a-month purchase limit law passed in 1993. The House Courts of Justice Committee voted to refer the bill to the Virginia State Crime Commission for study. At the April 27, 1995 meeting of the Crime Commission, Chairman Elmo G. Cross, Jr., selected Robert F. Horan, Jr., to serve as Chairman of the Law Enforcement Subcommittee, which was directed to conduct the study of Virginia's one-gun-a-month law.

At the May 23, 1995 meeting of the subcommittee, Staff Attorney Dana Schrad presented an overview of the study requested by letter from the House Courts of Justice Committee. The Department of State Police was asked to update its statistical report on multiple handgun purchases and present it to the subcommittee at the August meeting.

On August 29, 1995, the subcommittee heard presentations by staff, the Department of State Police, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, and the National Rifle Association on behalf of the Virginia Firearm Dealers Association. Copies of those presentations are appended to this report. Following the presentations, Delegate Copeland made a motion that Code of Virginia § 18.2-308.2:2 not be amended or repealed. The motion was seconded by Delegate Almand. The subcommittee voted 6-2 in favor of the motion.

At the October 3, 1995 meeting, the subcommittee reviewed and adopted the draft report developed by staff. Delegate Guest and Senator Robb requested that their votes against the motion not to repeal or amend Code of Virginia § 18.2-308.2:2 be reflected in the report. At the request of staff, the subcommittee voted to approve the publication of the report as a House document, pending final Commission approval. On November 14, 1995, the Commission adopted the study recommendation and approved the report for publication as a House document.