This month, Virginia Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) suggested on this page that the so-called (and recently repealed) one-gun-a-month law was an effective tool in stopping crime in the commonwealth and elsewhere [“Responsible gun laws in Virginia? Yes, it could happen,” April 1]. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are the facts that led to the repeal of this law.
First of all, one-gun-a-month only addressed handguns, not rifles or shotguns, both of which can also be used in crimes. Additionally, when the law was passed, our current system for catching felons attempting to buy handguns wasn’t in place. But today all handgun purchases are subject to the National Instant Check System. Moreover, purchasers of any kind of firearm — handgun or otherwise — here in Virginia must undergo a criminal background check administered by the state police. These requirements have been very effective in stopping prohibited people from buying firearms.