Richmond, Va. (WTVR)–A report released Monday, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that 407 guns linked to crimes in New York last year were originally purchased in Virginia.
Henrico Delegate Joe Morrissey voted against the repeal of Virginia’s One Hand Gun A Month law that passed the General Assembly earlier this year.
Morrissey worries what future studies might find.
“Mark my words, in 2013, when ATF comes out and they say, ’My God, 800, 1,000 crimes were linked to Virginia,’ you can trace it right back to the General Assembly’s– in my opinion–very poor decision to eliminate the one hand gun per month,” said Morrissey.
The process for purchasing a handgun in New York requires fingerprinting, character references and background checks.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizen Defense League, thinks the state’s less stringent handgun purchasing laws make little difference.
“We had the one gun a month when those statistics were taken, yet states that didn’t have it had lower amounts of guns going to New York than we did,” said Van Cleave.
According to ATF officials, New York’s restrictive gun laws have made the Empire State a marketplace for guns from states like Virginia. With no firearm registry and little regulation on private sales, Virginia’s influence on gun trafficking is still up for debate.
“Virginia was the cradle of our liberties, and I think a lot of gun owners certainly see us just that way by the fact that we try to have laws that are what the constitution expects them to be,” said Van Cleave.
“I don’t think it’s a plus to say, ‘Come to the old Dominion, where Virginia is for lovers and guns are prolific,” said Morrissey.
“No, I don’t think that’s the best sign for Virginia.”
To view the ATF’s study just click on this link: http://www.atf.gov/statistics/trace-data/2011-trace-data.html