Virginia’s Stupid New One-Handgun-Per-Month Law

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Via David Codrea, news from Virginia.

Virginia’s new one-handgun-per-month restriction resulted in 1,102 people being denied the purchase of a firearm during the law’s first month — by far the largest percentage of the 1,877 denials issued in July by the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center.

The high number of denials is due in part to confusion among firearms dealers and their customers about how the monthly or 30-day restriction period is calculated. Many believed that the law would not apply to purchases they made during the month before the law went into effect on July 1.

“It was confusing,” said Mark Tosh, president of Town Gun Shop Inc., with stores in Martinsville and Chesterfield County. “I think it caught a lot of people off guard, because everybody thought, OK July 1, and now the clock starts ticking if you buy a handgun. If I buy one July 1, then by Aug. 2, I should be fine [to buy another]. But nobody knew they were going to go back into June. I think that’s why you saw so many denials.”

[ … ]

“They made it retroactive and did not tell us. That’s the deal,” Cochran said. “We had no idea. We could have asked [customers] if they had purchased a gun in June.”

“The law does say 30 days, but everybody would have naturally assumed that it started July 1 — we all did,” he added. “Nobody would have assumed that if you bought one on June 30 … that you couldn’t buy one on July 1.”

[ … ]

Asked about how the law has been misinterpreted, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said, “The plain language of the legislation on the new 30-day limitation on handgun purchases prohibits someone from purchasing a handgun after June 30, 2020, if that same individual also bought one within the previous 30 days — unless the purchaser is covered by an exemption to this statute.”

She’s a liar, but she’s paid to be a liar.  That’s how she makes her living.  There’s nothing plain about the language.  I could interpret it multiple ways.

If I was going to make this abominable law, at least I would have thought about the difference between one per month, one per 30 days, and whether the Δt (differential time) had to be the total amount stipulated in the stupid new law or if the one handgun could be purchased within the time window regardless of location within that window.

But maybe that’s the point, huh?  To help confuse everyone because of less than plain language.


  1. On August 6, 2020 at 5:23 am, Differ said:

    Please include the text of the law so we can make our own kids up. It’s not in the linked article either.
    Section R
    It’s very clearly 30 days; problem seems to be the press calling it one gun per month which is more catchy.

  2. On August 6, 2020 at 8:35 am, Elmo said:

    “…prohibits someone from purchasing a handgun after June 30, 2020, if that same individual also bought one within the previous 30 days — unless the purchaser is covered by an exemption to this statute.”

    How much you wanna bet ‘an exemption’ would include being current or retired law enforcement. That’s the way they roll here in California.

    And speaking of California, the ‘one handgun’ law includes new firearms only. You can buy as many used ones as you please. Heh.

  3. On August 6, 2020 at 8:40 am, blake said:

    so much for “ex post facto.”

    But, that’s been dead for a long time.

  4. On August 6, 2020 at 8:43 am, Parnell said:

    I looked through the law and see no mention of the date on which it goes into effect. Here in NJ we have one of these stupid laws but when adopted, it clearly showed an effective and didn’t affect transactions done prior to that date. I think this makes this law easily challenged.

  5. On August 6, 2020 at 9:07 am, Fred said:

    I do wish that my team would stop using the wrong words. The use of the word stupid implies ignorance, mental incapacity, etc. and therefore a potential lack of fault. The law, and the people who passed it are not stupid. It was done on purpose by people who know full well what they are doing and what they are planning to do to you and your family once they get your guns. They must be hanged from the neck until dead for this treason. They are not mentally deficient. They are tyrants.

  6. On August 6, 2020 at 9:42 am, John said:

    Writing laws in vague language open to interpretation and “policies” to be created later
    is the old trick of dishonest politicians who desire ever more power over our lives.

  7. On August 6, 2020 at 10:01 am, Ron W said:

    Ambiguous and confusing language is a way for ARBITRARY GOVERNMENT. I can still recall when many Democrats were classical liberals who supported the wording of the Bill of Rights and individual liberty:

    “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against ARBITRARY GOVERNMENT and one more safeguard against tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

    –Hubert H. Humphrey
    (1911-1978) US Vice-President, US Senator (D-MN)

  8. On August 6, 2020 at 10:07 am, Herschel Smith said:


    I understand your point and don’t necessarily disagree with it. But there’s something else to think about.

    I try to draw the reader to that same conclusion by the end of this short post. The thing about post titles is this. A post title is indexed by Google, and I get traffic from search engines. The post title is something that must target the attention of a wider audience, if in fact I intend to reach a wider audience.

    To be honest, it would be easier and quicker to write posts with no title line at all. I cannot tell you how much time I spend on post title lines. And changing them before publishing.

    This is a bit harder than you think.

  9. On August 6, 2020 at 10:47 am, Chris Mallory said:

    Fred, stupid and ignorant are two different things. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. We all have topics and subjects about which we are ignorant. Ignorance can be remedied with education. Stupid is choosing to believe wrong or bad information and acting on it. Most teenage boys are stupid. They believe they are invincible and that bad things won’t happen to them. That is why they drive 100 mph on wet roads, have premarital sex, and jump off bridges on a dare. I daresay every man posting here can look back to his teens and early 20’s and say “I did some stupid stuff.”

  10. On August 6, 2020 at 11:33 am, Fred said:

    Flies, honey, google search. Understood.

    good point. I should have chosen another word. So that’s what I get for telling people what to say…and it’s not even a Monday.

  11. On August 6, 2020 at 12:19 pm, RCW said:

    In MD there has been both the requirement to have a Handgun Qualification License (HQL, and as far as I know the only one in the 50) and a 30 day restriction for ~13 years. Obtaining the HQL requires an application to the MD State Police (MSP), paying them a $ 50 application fee and at least another $ 75 for fingerprints & a two-hour course, which concludes with firing but one round out of a semi-auto.

    While the former is unavoidable IF one wants to legally buy a handgun and is NOT a retired/current – cop/military, the latter can be sidestepped with another application (free) to the MSP for exemption as a “collector”, which is pretty much rubber stamped.

  12. On August 6, 2020 at 12:52 pm, Bad_Brad said:

    I’m convinced the only way to salvage the second amendment is at the federal level. That does not come with out great risk however there’s no other option. From what I understand there’s a Bill that’s been drafted, but not submitted, that mandates no states gun laws can be more severe than the federal laws. Why isn’t the NRA jumping all over this? Could it be because the NY Attorney General is right and the POS Wayne LaPierre has been using our donations to fund his families life style? I think so.
    I’m in California and decided a couple months ago I’d like a Commander sized 1911 in 9 mil as a carry gun. Impossible. Not on the approved hand gun list. So then I decided I’d get a kit and build an 80 percenter. Can’t do that either with out building three of them. One the state drops from 25 feet to see if it will go off.
    There is currently a Bill being considered by our Libtard Communists that says for every one gun approved to add the the CalDoj approved handgun list, three need to be eliminated from said list. I don’t think that’s what the founders had in mind when they drafted the 2nd amendment. Something needs to be doe quickly.

  13. On August 6, 2020 at 3:08 pm, PHenry said:

    Virginia State Police spokeswoman, Corrine Geller. Former news anchor for Richmond’s NBC affiliate. She’s well trained.

  14. On August 6, 2020 at 3:29 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Yea. Stupid law. You could also choose to leave Ca.


    I have a followup post on this. Professional liar.

  15. On August 6, 2020 at 7:02 pm, Danny said:

    So…it seems we are getting wrapped around the axle of “da law” If you think “da law” is canted in your favor as a bitter clinger then muchacho, you need a wiff of the smellin salts. I am a Christian Anarchist riffing off Bill Bupperts tenets. If we claim that the Almighty commands us to protect kith and kin – why do we give an eff about gun laws – ANY OF THEM. If you can find someone on Armslist to sell you a gun on private sale outta state – why not. Just asking for a friend you know. You gotta be a Gorilla to be a Guerilla – nest pas sil vour plais?

    Just say in, don’t get your patriot panties in a wad over man mandated gun laws. Adapt and overcome yea. Or are we all just LARPing keyboard commandos not willing to put our d***s on the line. Come with me, I am doing a 10 mile ruck walk tonight. I will start at 10PM and finish around 1AM. Not f****n bad for a 60 yo who has a daily company conference call at 0700. Point is, get off your ass and do something, stand up, be counted, dont wear your mandated muzzle, growl a beastly growl, say no and make Leviathan pound you in the dirt.

    Donk out.

  16. On August 6, 2020 at 7:07 pm, Danny said:

    Oh and Captain, we need to ruck heavy packs up Crowders some time. Crusty old dudes who worship Yahweh are formidable.

  17. On August 6, 2020 at 7:09 pm, Danny said:

    @Fred As a VA native son, I am coming home to Tidewater next summer. Would love to break bread with you sometime.

  18. On August 6, 2020 at 11:07 pm, Danny said:

    So, let’s talk about my experience this very night at the hands of “da law” I rode my bike to a local watering hole like I do every 6 weeks or so. On the way home I had no less than 4 local cops, a SC trooper and a sergeant detain me, cuff me, berate me cuz I would not give them my full name and DOB. When I told them I was born 12/24/1913 the date of your federal reserve debt slavery they went apopoplectic. Put me in cuffs for giving false info, threatened to haul me in – why? Cuz my bike didn’t have lights and it was “against da law” Four effing local cops a state trooper and a sergeant. Riding a bike w/o lights. And you are upset about a gun law. I AM DONE WITH THE STANDING ARMY. DONE, DID YOU HEAR ME DONE. I am officially a roof top Korean – join me if you have the balls. Captain ban me I dont give a rats a** My rubicon has been crossed – see you in the byways and hedges by the highways.

  19. On August 7, 2020 at 9:07 am, TRX said:

    > There’s nothing plain about the language. I could interpret it multiple ways.

    All the best legislation is carefully crafted to that exact purpose.

    You carefully shroud the poison pill in something innocuously phrased so your opponents don’t catch on, then use the courts to flip the meaning to what you wanted all along.

  20. On August 7, 2020 at 2:07 pm, Jack Crabb said:

    In a just world the entire “leadership” of Virginia would be swinging from lamp posts and overpasses in Richmond.

  21. On August 7, 2020 at 3:23 pm, Fred said:


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You are currently reading "Virginia’s Stupid New One-Handgun-Per-Month Law", entry #25086 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published August 5th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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