GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC/WFXR) — Gun rights groups will go to court Thursday afternoon after filing a lawsuit in Goochland Circuit Court challenging Virginia’s new “one-handgun-a-month” law, which passed during this year’s General Assembly session when gun control measures became the focus of the Democratic-led legislature.
In April, Gov. Ralph Northam signed multiple bills aimed at putting additional restrictions on gun purchases that were passed during the 2020 session. Legislation signed by Northam included those requiring background checks on all firearm sales, establishing a red flag law in Virginia, and reinstating the state’s one-handgun-a-month policy.
Pro-gun groups, including the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Gun Owners of America, and Gun Owners Foundation, requested an injunction June 12, claiming the one-gun-a-month law violates the state’s constitution.
“Gov. Northam wants a repeat of this failed law, which was previously repealed in 2012,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of GOA and GOF, said in a statement released Monday, June 15. “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.”
However, the Virginia Attorney General’s office says an earlier version of the law was in effect for almost 20 years and proved to be extremely successful in keeping a lot of guns off the streets.
On Wednesday, June 24, Attorney General Mark Herring filed a brief in the lawsuit, arguing that the one handgun a month law “strikes a reasonable balance between the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Commonwealth’s legitimate interest in stemming the flow of handguns that can cause violence, bloodshed, and heartbreak in communities across Virginia and the East Coast when they are illegally sold, trafficked, stolen, or otherwise put into the hands of dangerous individuals.”
The hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 25.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
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