GOA And VCDL Challenge Virginia’s One Handgun A Month Law

VA Governor Ralph Northam

Gun Owners of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), Brothers N Arms, Inc., and Valerie Trojan are challenging Virginia’s new “one handgun a month” law.

The alliance filed the suit in the circuit court for the county of Goochland. The group is asking the court to grant temporary and permanent injunctive relief from the law as well as a petition for a writ of mandamus. The write of mandamus would prevent the Virginia State Police from enforcing the new law. The lawsuit names Colonel Gary Settle (superintendent of the State Police) in his official duty as head of the state police force.

The Democrat lead legislature passed a “one handgun a month” law last session amid massive backlash from gun owners from across the Commonwealth. Last November, Michael Bloomberg funded organizations such as Everytown For Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action pumped millions of dollars into the Virginia elections. Virginia became a battleground for gun rights.

Over 96% of the Commonwealth declared itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary. In January, tens of thousands of gun owners from around the country showed up in Richmond for the state’s annual Lobby Day. Democrat Chap Peterson told Fox News that Lobby Day and the 2A Sanctuary movement was why the proposed “assault firearms” ban failed.

The suit argues that the law unconstitutionally rations an enumerated right. GOA contends that the bill would be akin to the government telling a newspaper how many times they can publish a week or limit the number of bibles a Christian could buy to one a month. The groups point out that the founders did not put a limit on how many times someone can use their rights.

In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down Washington D.C.’s one handgun a month law. The court ruled that it was unconstitutional. Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg said D.C.’s claim that registration limits reduce the number of guns on the streets “does not justify restricting an individual’s undoubted constitutional right to keep arms (plural) in his or her home.”

Virginia had a “one handgun a month law” in the past, but the legislature repealed the law in 2012. Instead of violent crime increasing as anti-gun groups and politicians predicted, Virginia became one of the safest states in the country. GOA/GOF Senior Vice President Erich Pratt doesn’t think the new law is about making Virginians safer. He sees it as a part of a bigger anti-gun agenda.

“Gov. Northam wants a repeat of this failed law, which was previously repealed in 2012,” Pratt said in a press release. “In the past eight years, Virginia was ranked as one of the safest states in the country. This shows that the radical push for gun control has nothing to do with reducing crime, but rather is about implementing a disarmament agenda.”

Gun rights activists also worry about the law creating a gun registry. To know that someone is trying to buy multiple handguns in 30 days requires a database. Pratt calls this list a gun registry, and other gun-rights activists agree with him.

The new gun laws go into effect on July 1st in the Commonwealth. The Virginia State Police didn’t return AmmoLand’s request for comment.

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