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VA – GUN POLITICS – How the politics of one-gun-a-month have changed. And how they haven’t.

Perhaps the biggest question facing the General Assembly — and its new Democratic majority — is what new gun laws legislators will pass. Most of the gun-related bills that Democrats (led by Gov. Ralph Northam) are proposing would be new for Virginia — among them, a ban on certain types of weapons, “red flag” laws, and universal background checks. One, though, would not be new. That is the “one gun a month” bill. Virginia had such a law once before — from 1993 through 2012. The politics of how it was passed — and later repealed — shed an instructive light on how Virginia’s politics have changed. And how they haven’t. Let’s rewind to the early 1990s: The murder rate in New York City was hitting all-time highs — peaking at 2,245 people killed in 1990 and 2,154 in 1991 (by contrast, the most recent figure available is 289 for 2018). A study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that 40% of the guns being seized in New York in connection with crimes came from Virginia. New York had — and still has — tough restrictions on guns. Virginia did not. That created a Virginia-to-New York pipeline for guns — legally purchased in Virginia but used illegally in New York.  [full article]

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