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Virginia may soon lift monthly limit on hand gun sales

Virginia may soon lift a 19-year-old limit on hand gun purchases which the pro-gun lobby says is out of date, allowing for more than one a month.

Virginia tech campus shooting 12 9 2011Enlarge
Police officers gather around the scene of a shooting in front of Cassell Coliseum on the Virginia Tech campus December 8, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Jared Soares/Getty Images)

Virginia may soon lift a 19-year-old limit on hand gun purchases, allowing for more than one a month.

The Republican-controlled state Senate is expected to do away with the limit in a final vote on Friday, the Washington Post reported.

Lawmakers originally enacted the limit to prevent gun dealers from shipping handguns bought in Virginia to cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, DC, according to Leesburg Today.

Also this week, the Senate passed a bill prohibiting sellers from requiring that anyone applying for a concealed handgun permit submit fingerprints.

And the House passed a bill allowing government employees to store guns and ammunition in personal cars parked in workplace lots, including those at child-care centers and parks.

The Washington Post quoted Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, as saying: "It’s going pretty well. It’s by no means perfect. There are some good bills that aren’t making it, but there are good bills that are. And I think we’re seeing much more progress than we’ve seen the last several years."

Other pro-gun activists say lifting the ban also serves practical purposes. Delegate Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, who proposed several pieces of gun-friendly legislation, told Leesburg Today that collectors liked to purchase guns with sequential serial numbers, while others others may purchase a set of pistols, or guns, as Christmas gifts.

He said the ban was outdated because of modern technology and the availability of instant background checks.

However, Lori Haas, whose daughter, Emily, was wounded in the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, told the Washington Post that the General Assembly was moving in the wrong direction.

"Obviously, it says something about the Republicans that they pander to special interest groups instead of law enforcement and the citizens of Virginia," she said.

A Senate committee did kill another gun-rights proposal that would have prevented colleges from banning firearms on campus, though a House committee was still considering whether to allow faculty members to carry guns on campus.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120203/virginia-gun-laws-concealed-firearms-weapons-shooting