Last year, Virginia gun owners joined millions of Americans who began stockpiling weapons for fear that Barack Obama would push for new gun controls. Now that the prophesied gun control measures have not come to pass, Virginia’s gun advocates are feeling almost giddy about their chances to loosen restrictions on buying and carrying firearms, the Washington Post reports.
With a new Republican governor, attorney genera,l and a Republican-led legislature, pro-gun lawmakers are pushing a raft of bills, including some that would have had little chance in previous years. Among them is a bid to fend off federal regulation of firearms and ammunition made and sold only in Virginia and a proposal to repeal a 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month. The repeal sailed through the House on Monday, despite opposition from law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church, and delegates passed the bill on federal regulation. Other bills are designed to swell the ranks of Virginia’s 214,300 concealed-weapons carriers and open more doors to them.