Henrico County VA

Senate votes to repeal gun purchase limit

Virginians soon may be able to purchase more guns than they can carry, all in one buy – for the first time in almost two decades.

With the exception of law enforcement officials and some concealed-weapon permit holders, a 1993 state law has prohibited the purchase of more than one handgun every 30 days. On Monday, the Senate passed a bill to revoke this law; the House had approved a similar measure last week.

Sen. Bill Carrico, the chief patron of Senate Bill 323 and a long-time advocate for the right to bear arms, called the existing law “unnecessary and outdated.” He said Monday’s 21-19 vote was a victory for the Second Amendment.

Carrico, a Republican from Galax in the southwestern tip of Virginia, said that technology negates the need for the state’s limit on gun purchases and that law-abiding citizens will benefit from such a change.

“Advanced technologies like instant background checks have made gun restrictions like this counter-productive,” said Carrico, a retired state trooper. “Over the years, it has become obvious that ‘one gun a month’ only affected responsible gun owners and didn’t deter criminals from obtaining handguns.”

Critics of lifting the limit on buying guns in Virginia said the change would create problems not only in the commonwealth but in other states as well.

A 2010 report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ranked Virginia among the top suppliers of guns linked to crimes in New York.

“We’ve learned in the past that making it real easy to purchase guns has led Virginia guns to be used inordinately in crimes in New York City,” said Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria. He added that he hopes “the ability to purchase more than 12 guns per year,” if passed, does not affect crime rates in or out of state.

Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder signed the one-gun-a-month limit into law in 1993.

“I am very disappointed in the General Assembly’s actions toward repeal of one of Gov. Doug Wilder’s signature achievements,” said Tim Kaine, another previous governor. Kaine is now the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

“I was also disappointed to see that at least two of the individuals in this U.S. Senate race, George Allen and Bob Marshall, have already voiced support for repeal of this legislation,” Kaine said.

He called on the current governor, Republican Bob McDonnell, to reject bills to repeal the one-gun-a-month rule.

“I strongly urge Gov. McDonnell to veto this legislation and urge all of Virginia’s leaders in Richmond to renew their commitment to a focus on jobs and the economy,” Kaine said.

McDonnell has indicated that he would sign the repeal measure.

The 40 senators are evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Nineteen Republicans and two Democrats – Sens. Creigh Deeds of Bath County and John Edwards of Roanoke – voted in favor of SB 323.

The remaining 18 Democrats were joined by one Republican, Sen. Thomas Norment of Williamsburg, in voting against the bill.
Carrico’s bill was co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Richard Black of Sterling, Thomas Garrett of Bumpass and Bryce Reeves of Fredericksburg.

Deeds said he voted for the bill on constitutional grounds.

“I don’t see the reason why someone would need to own a gun a month. I don’t think there’s any reason for a person to have to buy a gun a year, but the fact is the Second Amendment guarantees people have a right to own and possess firearms unless they’re disqualified somehow,” Deeds said.

“I think the limit by the government is arbitrary. I voted against it in ’93. Since 1993, since it became a law in Virginia, so many holes have been poked in it, so many exceptions have been made, that it doesn’t apply really to anybody except the people that are going to obey the law anyway.

“I think that people that intend on violating the law are going to find ways around it to get weapons. Nobody should be surprised at my vote on that issue. Anybody that has studied my voting record or studied what I’ve said about the issue knew exactly how I was going to vote.”

SB 323 now goes to the House for consideration.

The House has already passed its own measure to repeal the one-gun-a-month limit – House Bill 940, sponsored by Republican Delegates Scott Lingamfelter of Woodbridge, Todd Gilbert of Woodstock and Bob Marshall of Manassas.

On Feb. 1, delegates voted 66-32 in favor of the bill – with Republicans overwhelmingly for it and Democrats overwhelmingly against it.
HB 940 is now before the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

Here is how the Senate voted Monday on “SB 323 Handguns; eliminates prohibition on purchasing more than one in a 30-day period.”
Floor: 02/06/12 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 19-N)
YEAS – Black, Blevins, Carrico, Deeds, Edwards, Garrett, Hanger, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Obenshain, Reeves, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner, Watkins – 21.
NAYS – Barker, Colgan, Ebbin, Favola, Herring, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Norment, Northam, Petersen, Puckett, Puller, Saslaw – 19.

Here is how the House voted on Feb. 1 on “HB 940 Handguns; eliminates prohibition on purchasing more than one in a 30-day period.”
Floor: 02/01/12 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (66-Y 32-N)
YEAS – Anderson, Bell, Richard P., Bell, Robert B., Byron, Cline, Cole, Comstock, Cosgrove, Cox, J.A., Cox, M.K., Crockett-Stark, Dudenhefer, Edmunds, Fariss, Farrell, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Head, Helsel, Hodges, Hugo, Iaquinto, Ingram, Joannou, Johnson, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, Lewis, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall, D.W., Marshall, R.G., Massie, Merricks, Miller, Minchew, Morefield, Morris, O’Bannon, O’Quinn, Orrock, Peace, Pogge, Poindexter, Putney, Ramadan, Ransone, Robinson, Rush, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Stolle, Tata, Villanueva, Ware, R.L., Watson, Webert, Wilt, Wright, Yancey, Yost, Mr. Speaker – 66.
NAYS – Albo, Alexander, BaCote, Brink, Bulova, Carr, Dance, Englin, Filler-Corn, Herring, Hope, Howell, A.T., James, Keam, Kory, LeMunyon, Lopez, May, McClellan, McQuinn, Morrissey, Plum, Rust, Sickles, Spruill, Surovell, Torian, Toscano, Tyler, Ward, Ware, O., Watts – 32.
NOT VOTING – Purkey, Scott, J.M. – 2.

More cyclists on the way

Riders to pass through county on East Coast Greenway tour
From October 4-9, 35 cyclists will be riding through Henrico County as part of a 325-mile tour of the East Coast Greenway (ECG) route from Fredericksburg, Virginia, to Raleigh, NC.

A 2,900-mile trail route that extends from the Canadian border at Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida, The East Coast Greenway is heading into its 25th year. The Week A Year (WAY) Tour is an annual ride and fundraiser that has been working its way south since the first WAY Tour launched from Calais, Maine in 2011. Riders cover a different section of the Greenway each year and are on target to complete the route in Key West in 2019. > Read more.

Henrico woman wins $1M in Va. Lottery game

When Amanda Spiller of Henrico saw that she’d won the $1 million prize in the Virginia Lottery’s $100 Million Cash Extravaganza game, it didn’t immediately sink in.

“I was in shock. . . complete shock,” she said. “I had to double and triple check.”

She bought the winning ticket at the 7-Eleven at 2750 Hungary Spring Road in Henrico. She had the choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $681,000 before taxes. She chose the cash option. The store received a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket. > Read more.

New restaurant opens at Virginia Center Commons

Virginia Center Commons is now home to Alpozio’s Grill & Lounge, a new American-themed, family-owned and operated restaurant concept from industry veteran Al Williams.

“We are excited to welcome Alpozio’s, adding another dimension to Virginia Center Commons’ popular mix of specialty stores, eateries and entertainment venues,” said Sheryl Raulin, mall manager at Virginia Center Commons.

The kitchen at Alpozio’s focuses on classic American favorites with Italian influence. Menu items include everything from crab cakes to ribeye with a selection of kid-friendly favorites and decadent desserts, such as strawberry shortcake and grandma’s apple pie. > Read more.


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