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GOF, GOA, & VCDL Challenge “One Handgun A Month” Law

Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) are challenging the “One Handgun a Month” law that was signed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

“Gov. Northam wants a repeat of this failed law, which was previously repealed in 2012,” Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of GOF and GOA said. “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.”

Pratt continued: “Furthermore, the enforcement of this law is problematic, as it necessitates a backdoor gun registry. How else would handgun purchases be tracked and counted within a month?”

The GOF/GOA/VDCL complaint additionally argues that this law infringes the right to keep and bear arms in a way that would be unpalatable if applied to other rights, like those protected under the First Amendment. Consider:

The statute is no less an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms than is limiting persons to purchasing one Bible per month would be an infringement on the rights of Virginians under Article I, Section 12 of the Virginia Constitution (analogous to the First Amendment). Indeed, the statute’s restriction is jurisprudentially indistinguishable from arbitrary rationing or numerical limits on any other enumerated right. It would be unfathomable if the General Assembly attempted to place limits on how many times per week a newspaper could be published, how many abortions a woman could receive in a decade, or how many times a court-appointed criminal defense lawyer could be appointed for an indigent defendant facing jailable offenses during a lifetime … to name but a few examples illustrative of this problem. Fortunately, this nation’s founders did not place numerical limits in the Bill of Rights, and those Virginians who ratified Article I, Section 13 did not see fit to add any.