More than 1,000 people have been denied the purchase of a firearm under a new law in Virginia that limits purchases to one handgun a month.
Some 1,102 people were denied under the law last month. There were more 1,800 denials overall in the state for the month of July.
The high number of denials is partly attributed to confusion among gun dealers and customers about how the monthly restriction period is calculated. Many believed the law would not apply to purchases made the month before the law took effect on July 1.
Jerry Cochran, owner of Trader Jerry’s, said the state made the law “retroactive and did not tell us.”
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the law “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.”
Virginia has been epicenter of the nation’s gun debate after Democrats ran on an aggressive new gun control platform.
Tens of thousands of gun owners from around the country rallied against new gun restrictions at the state Capitol in January while lawmakers ultimately approved 7 out of 8 of Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun-control package.
New laws include universal background checks on gun purchases, a red flag bill to allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others, and limited handgun purchases to one a month.
Moderate Democrats balked at passing a ban on assault weapons, which was one of Northam’s top priorities.
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