Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com February 7, 2012 at 8:00 am 3,405 78 Comments

General Assembly Votes to Lift Gun Purchase Limit — The Virginia General Assembly has voted to lift the state’s limit of one gun purchase per month. The limit, which has been in place since 1993, was intended to reduce gun trafficking and gun-related crimes. Sen. Janet Howell (D), who represents part of Arlington, said lifting the limit could turn Virginia into a “gun-runners’ paradise.” [Washington Post]

Arlington’s Triple-AAA Rating Reaffirmed — Arlington has once again received a top AAA rating from each of the three major bond rating agencies. “With these ratings, the County will be able to continue making critical capital investments at the lowest possible cost to residents and businesses,” said County Manager Barbara Donnellan. [Arlington County]

Library Launches New Web Site — Arlington’s library system revealed a newly-designed web site over the weekend. The new library site includes “fresher-looking pages… richer graphics… catalog browsing that might remind you of strolling the shelves… a friendlier study room reservation system… [and] a customized events calendar with more options to find what you want.” [Arlington Public Library]

New Leadership for BRAVO — The nonprofit Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice (BRAVO) has appointed a new Executive Director. Dennis Jaffe, a longtime community activist, says he’s looking forward to advocating for the rights and needs of tenants in Arlington County. “I have a personal mission… and that is to increase tenants’ connectedness to each other and to the Arlington community,” Jaffe said in a statement. Tenants make up about 57 percent of the Arlington County population, according to BRAVO.

  • Quoth the Raven

    Having lived all over the country, I can say this: Arlington has the best library system I have ever seen. We’re lucky to live somewhere with such a strong library.

    • Valerie

      I agree, and best managed County department.

      • BookGuy

        I know some former employees of Arlington County who left only for reasons relating to pay but who say that working for the County was an excellent experience–and we do have a marvelous public library system.

    • Tina

      Yes, I do admire the Arlington library system! I positively love the many many programs, variety of materials, resources, online accessibility, locations, and friendly staff at the Arlington public libraries. A happy shout-out to the Aurora Hills and Central branches 🙂 I wish hours were better, but I understand. Money is always an issue.

  • CrystalMikey

    Nice big gun photo choice for the first note.

  • Virginia is already a “gun-runners’ paradise”. I’m an advocate for being able to own and carry weapons, but I see no valid reason to be able to buy them in bulk.

    • novasteve

      And if someone says you have no business buying cars in bulk, or ramen in bulk, you’d be fine with that as well even though there’s nothing in the constitution about cars or ramen unlike with guns?

      • Uh, as far as I know no other state has laws prohibiting how many cars you can purchase. So, there is no intrastate demand for automobile-running feeding a black market where those cars are used in crimes that injure and kill. Duh.

        • Arlington, Northside

          The Commonwealth requires an individual to register as a car dealer once they sell a certain threshold of vehicles in a single year. So in a way they do limit the bulk buying and selling of cars.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Steve, the counter-argument is fairly obvious, though, right? Ramen doesn’t kill people. The state has the ability to regulate things which are inherently dangerous – like speeding cars, chemicals, etc. Guns, even if constitutionally protected, fall into this category. For the same reason, there are limits on other things relating to guns — high capacity magazines, armor-piercing rounds, and, as pointed out below, machine guns.

        • R. Griffon

          And don’t forget cigarettes/smoking!

      • drax

        I don’t think limiting gun buys to one a month limits your right to bear arms. There are only so many guns you can carry. Maybe it should be a weight limit instead though.

      • MomofTeens

        Um, people don’t use ramen and cars to kill people (at least, not on purpose…)

    • Zoning Victim

      I see no valid reason for only being able to buy just one, either, and you’ve always been able to buy them in bulk in VA if you’re buying anything other than a handgun. They keep calling it a “gun purchase limit,” which is incorrect; it was a handgun purchase limit, only.

      • Econ

        So, I might agree that setting a limit of one on anything is pretty constraining. Would gun advocacy groups be OK with any limit on handguns per month ? 5, 10, 100, 1000 ?

        • Why would you possibly need to purchase, for your personal use, more than one handgun per month?

          Certainly, I can see if you are running guns up to New York why you’d want to be able to buy a thousand of them at a time.

          • KalashniKEV

            “Why would you possibly need to purchase, for your personal use, more than one handgun per month?”

            CCW holders were exempt from the “1-gun-a-month rule” anyway.

            I’ve purchased multiple handguns on the same 4473 and would turn that question back on you- why should an American citizen fully in possession of all their rights have to wait? ONE a month? Why?

            What if I want three… right now?

          • drax

            You don’t get three right now. You wait. That way, we help keep guns out of the hands of the guys you need a gun – only one – to defend yourself from in the first place.

          • Actually, I have more than one gun to defend myself with from the bad guys. But, the question is valid: Why should you have to wait? You have to wait because there are guys buying guns in bulk and transporting them elsewhere to circumvent the laws of other states. That’s why.

          • KalashniKEV

            “You don’t get three right now. You wait.”

            Ummm… no, actually… as a CCW holder, I don’t wait.

            Never have, never will. I also don’t take kindly to deprivation of any American citizens rights without due process.

          • KEV, as a CCW holder you should not have to wait. But, the guy without one should just to make sure he’s not able to feed guns up to NY in a profitable expeditious manner.

          • KalashniKEV

            “the guy without one should just to make sure he’s not able to feed guns up to NY in a profitable expeditious manner.”

            Nope. The possibility of “maybe” committing a crime does not constitute due process to deprive an American citizen of their rights.

            Wanna take a guess why the full power of the United States Constitution has remained in effect in Pennsylvania? I might have to bust out my chalkboard and deliver a Virginia history lesson…

          • Josh S

            Spare us, Kev.

            Shocking as it may be, there is nothing that sets the Second Amendment as apart, above, separate, different, better, ahead of, superior to, etc any of the other parts of the Bill of Rights. And none of those rights are absolute. None of them.

            No matter how hard you type on your keyboard, it won’t change that.

            The due process was the process by which the laws were written.

          • “Nope. The possibility of “maybe” committing a crime does not constitute due process to deprive an American citizen of their rights.”

            Technically correct. But it is done all the time.

          • KalashniKEV

            “Shocking as it may be, there is nothing that sets the Second Amendment as apart, above, separate, different, better, ahead of, superior to, etc any of the other parts of the Bill of Rights.”

            Amen to that, Brother!

            MOLON LABE!!

            🙂 🙂 🙂
            (hope that wasn’t too hard for you!)

          • KalashniKEV

            “Technically correct. But it is done all the time.”

            …and each time it is a travesty.

          • drax

            OB, you already have more than one gun to defend yourself, even though you were presumably limited to buying one per month. Exactly.

          • drax

            If you don’t have to wait, Kev, why are you complaining, and why did you ask the question?

          • KalashniKEV

            “If you don’t have to wait, Kev, why are you complaining?”

            Because to violate one citizen’s rights is to violate all. As I stated, I don’t take kindly to unconstitutional laws.

          • Arlington, Northside

            “a well REGULATED militia”. It is not unreasonable to require a CCW permit in order to buy more than one handgun a month. Want to buy more? Just show that you are responsible enough to take a simple class.

          • FunnyMunny

            My favorite Simpsons quote of all time…

            Homer: “Five days??? But I’m mad NOW!!!”

          • Zoning Victim

            There are a lot of reasons why someone might want to buy more than one handgun that don’t include gun running; online gun store has two rare, used, different guns I’ve been wanting in limited supply (actually happened twice this year to me), someone starts taking personal security seriously and they want both a home defense and a carry weapon. I could go on and on with speculative reasons as to why it’s legit to purchase more than one handgun a month, but I think you get my point even if it doesn’t sway your opinion.

            You make it sound like 15% of Virginians are now running to the store to buy thousands of handguns and sell them on the black market in New York. It’s a federal crime that will get you about 10 years in jail. If .01% of the population was engaged in that kind of activity, I’d be surprised, and they won’t care about VA’s one handgun a month law since they’re already engaging in a much more costly crime.

          • KalashniKEV

            The VA-NY gun trafficking link is a sham created when NY liberals found a sympathetic ear in then VA Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. No other state was willing to violate the rights of their citizens because New York City was unable to control it’s crime. This law literally sent shock waves across VA in 1993, and lead to the end of a 12 year lock on the VA governorship by democrats.

            So why don’t any states contiguous with NY have similar laws? Because their leaders have backbone… and respect Constitutionality.

          • Zoning Victim

            While I agree that it’s NY’s problem, not ours, and agree with just about everything else you’ve stated; I don’t agree that the 2nd Amendment gives us a right to buy more than one pistol a month. It was repealed because it’s a stupid law that inconveniences Virginians for something that is somebody else’s self-made problem, not because it violates the 2nd Amendment. If it did, it would have been struck down long ago.

          • R. Griffon

            I’ve also seen sets of 2 classic pistols in a nicely adorned wooden case, sometimes with velvet or similar lining. The pistols are often very ornately adorned and include engraving, etc. I belive it may be called a “duelist’s” set or something similar.

            Would VA law preclude you from buying such a set?

            I understand that people buying in bulk for distribution to the black market or criminal elements is a problem, but this seems like a dumb way to enforce it.

            Isn’t there some sort of legal limit on the number of cars a person can buy and sell in a year without having to register as a licensed dealer? Maybe something like that is possible. Granted, you don’t have to register with the state to sell a gun (which is a problem IMHO). Just thinking out loud.

          • Arlington, Northside

            As antiques, I believe that they would be exempt from the limit. Also, the person who is concerned about personal defence and suddenly wants the one carry weapon and the seperate home defense weapon should be the very person that should be taking the CCW course, thus allowing them to buy the two hand guns at once. Although a Shotgun would probably be the better home defense weapon.

          • KalashniKEV

            1) Antique firearms are those produced prior to Jan. 1, 1899. I doubt that’s what RG is talking about.
            2) Maybe the person wants one self defense weapon and one target pistol… or one hunting pistol. The possibilities are endless. The “reason” is irrelevant though.
            3) I’d only use a shotgun for breaching and non-lethal applications.

          • Zoning Victim

            Northside, there was an antique/curio/relic gun exemption, but the requirements are pretty stringent and still somewhat ambiguous on what qualifies. Agreed about the CCW course; I didn’t know that it gave you a pass on the law until I read this thread and then looked up the law (it didn’t until 1993, I think), but there are plenty of other situations that would make one gun a month a hassle. It originally even pertained to private sales, which is really silly.

            You’ve been able to buy more that one a month the whole time assuming you’re willing to go through a long process of paperwork and an “enhanced” background check, whatever that means. It’s just a stupid hoop to make law abiding citizens jump through. Obviously, this is the kind of debate where nobody ever changes their mind, but I’m happy to see the law go.

            R. Griffon, I think the limit is actually on the number of cars you can sell, but I’m not 100% sure if that’s still the case.

          • Zoning Victim

            Oh, and I would not consider a shotgun a good home defense weapon unless you live alone and hate your neighbors. While most center fire pistol ammo will penetrate walls and windows like 00 buckshot will, at least it doesn’t spread like shot does.

          • R. Griffon

            But aren’t the individual pellets smaller than your average handgun round, and thus less likely to over-penetrate? Plus if you’re serious about home defense you should be using low recoil loads. Don’t they have a lower velocity?

            And those keeping a handgun in the nightstand should seriously think about frangible rounds, esp. if you have family around the house or live in a multi-family unit/condo/apt.

        • Zoning Victim

          I’m sure they’d see any limits on purchases as an erosion of gun owner’s rights. Perhaps their right, though; on all sides of issues like this it always seems that if you give an inch, the other side just starts lobbying for another inch.

    • Vik

      I agree. And Creigh Deeds voted for this, which may help explain why people showed less enthusiasm when he ran for governor. The WaPo article said that the gun lobby proposed a bill that would get rid of state background checks. I can’t believe some of the psychos we have in government.

      • KalashniKEV

        The state background check is redundant and silly.

        If the state knows something the Fed doesn’t about a person’s rights, they need to come up on the net and… y’know…. share that.

        • Zoning Victim

          I thought the same thing as Vik (that it was to get rid of the background check, entirely, which is insane). So you’re saying that there would still be a background check at the Federal level even if the bill to get rid of the state background check passed?

          • KalashniKEV

            The State background check is done AFTER the NICS (Federal) in the 4473 process. If the Federal Government clears you as a non-felon without any other disqualifying conditions… why do you have to undergo another background check? Creating a second database only creates the potential issue of reconciling discrepancies between the two.

            Luckily, no dealer I have ever dealt with has had someone pass the Federal and fail the State. If you are convicted of a felony, the Feds are going to find out. (duh!)

          • Zoning Victim

            Yeah, that is pretty stupid, then.

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    How many handguns does any one person need?

    • That depends on your needs. I need more than one. I might even want a half dozen or so. But, I don’t need to buy as many as I want in one month.

    • SomeGuy

      As many as he or she sees fit to own.

      One could ask why some women need so many shoes or so many handbags (and I do), but it’s not my place to limit how they choose to spend their money, so I don’t try.

      • Uh, except shoes and handbags are not used in crimes that injure or kill.

        When you go into the pharmacy, you are limited on how many Claritin-D you can purchase, as a method of crime prevention totally not related to your cold or allergy. You have not lost your rights, you just can’t buy enough at one time to process into a drug that is abused.

        • SomeGuy

          Every time I read that a suspect “fled on foot” from a violent scene, I presume he/she used shoes in the commission of that crime.

          • Smart a**.

          • drax

            Hence the black market in running shoes for criminals who wish to flee on foot?

          • SomeGuy

            drax, note that there’s no legal limit on the number of shoes a law-abiding citizen can acquire, so there’s not much of a black market for shoes (except for the counterfeit/stolen kind). People who don’t want to deal with the hassle and [artificially] high cost of acquiring retail shoes might go underground and buy those stolen/counterfeit goods, which is hard to trace. So if we really want to keep a handle on who’s buying those shoes, we should have a system that’s not so onerous as to drive them to the black market. See how that might work?

            To be clear, I don’t see much need to buy multiple handguns per month either; I just don’t need more than one or two total. But I worry about the slippery slope of making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to acquire what they’re constitutionally permitted to own.

    • Garden City

      I also have more than one handgun, but I can’t see a reason why I should be able to buy more than one handgun a month. I don’t see how it can be considered a hardship, unless one has been procrastinating on his Christmas shopping. I’m an NRA member, support CCW as “shall issue” rule, etc., but I also know that a firearm is not a chainsaw or a bowling ball. It probably should be treated differently, and while I support the right to bear arms, I also know that everyone I know probably shouldn’t have one. A few common sense rules are probably in order, and the one pistol/revolver per month is probably a good one. Remember, this rule does not affect long guns.

      • drax

        “I’m an NRA member, support CCW as “shall issue” rule, etc.”

        You’re still a lib’rul commie though.

        BTW, the NRA supports this repeal of the one gun a month law.

      • Zoning Victim

        I could come up with a host of reasons why a person might be better served to buy more than one handgun in a month.

        “Remember, this rule does not affect long guns.”

        Isn’t that pretty silly about this law to begin with? Sure, buy all of the assault rifles you want (which are far more dangerous than pistols) but not handguns; you only get one of those.

        • KalashniKEV

          “Assault rifles” are very, very seldom used in crime.

          There’s an FBI list that shows that the vast majority of crime is committed by Saturday Night Specials- .22s, .25s, .32s, .380s.

          Of course facts have never stopped the authoritarian Left- James Brady was shot with a .22 caliber revolver… makes sense to devote his life and name to going after “assault rifles” and standard… oops, no… “high” capacity magazines, no?

          • Zoning Victim

            Haha, right. I wasn’t saying that they’re more prolific in crimes, just that they, like all rifles, are more dangerous to the human beings they’re being used on than pistols (excluding rifles that shoot pistol ammo and pistols that shoot rifle ammo, obviously). I read somewhere just a week or so ago when researching another self-defense centric thread on arlnow that 90% of the people shot with a handgun fully recover; rifle cartridges changed the game significantly, but the survival rates for people shot with rifle rounds was astoundingly high (in my opinion), too.

    • HomeAlone

      I’ve heard consultants suggest that for home defense, you really want to have stashes of guns throughout the house, so if the gang of hoodlums break in while you are down in the basement doing laundry, you have access to a piece (assuming you are not carrying 100% in your house).

  • drax

    On the tenant story: this book actually says people who live alone are more socially connected than those who don’t.


    • @drax Interesting. I will definitely check that out. By connectedness, I am primarily talking about community involvement.

      • drax

        Hi Dennis,

        Yeah, you should listen to the interview. Obviously not every renter is single or living alone, but it would interest you. I like the community involvement goal – it’s just what is needed.

  • DarkHeart

    Is that thing aimed at National Airport?

    • CourthouseChris

      Really really close. Using google earth I was able to determine the barrel is aimed with a heading of approximately 135 degrees which puts it on a path that skirts just through the southwestern most portion of what I believe is economy parking.

  • dk

    Heading over to the local gun shop now to stock up.

  • drax

    Does the American Legion have a permit for that thing?

    • KalashniKEV

      Actually, if they got it from DRMO they do.

      It’s funny, but if you do Asset Visibility on weird equipment you can find “1 x Whatever” on the books of some weird organization in some weird location- probably in a static display. Even if it’s been de-milled!

  • Barry

    It’s a 3″ M5 anti-tank gun, WW2 vintage. My father was in an anti-tank unit and while this weapon was effective it was heavy….all steel….and by the time it was emplaced and firing the German tanks would be rolling over it.

  • JimPB

    Interesting, one hears nothing about the very tight Federal restrictions on machine guns —

    From Wikipedia:Federal Firearms Regulations
    “It has been unlawful since 1934 (The National Firearms Act) for civilians to own machine guns without special permission from the U.S. Treasury Department. Machine guns are subject to a $200 tax every time their ownership changes from one federally registered owner to another, and each new weapon is subject to a manufacturing tax when it is made, and it must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in its National Firearms Registry.

    “To become a registered owner, a complete FBI background investigation is conducted, checking for any criminal history or tendencies toward violence, and an application must be submitted to the ATF including two sets of fingerprints, a recent photo, a sworn affidavit that transfer of the NFA firearm is of “reasonable necessity,” and that sale to and possession of the weapon by the applicant “would be consistent with public safety.” The application form also requires the signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the applicant’s residence.”

    Since the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of May 19, 1986, ownership of newly manufactured machine guns has been prohibited to civilians. Machine guns which were manufactured prior to the Act’s passage are regulated under the National Firearms Act, but those manufactured after the ban cannot ordinarily be sold to or owned by civilians.

    • KalashniKEV

      “The application form also requires the signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the applicant’s residence.”

      Not sure what your point is bringing this up, but since you did, I’ll add that this requirement predates electronic record keeping, and is going away sometime in the next year.

      Look for the streets to be “flooded” with $20K+ full autos. lol

  • JimPB

    The big reason for the limiting handgun purchases to one a month was to choke off volume “straw man” purchases of handguns and the transfer or, more often, resell of these guns to criminals along the East Coast.

    The Commonwealth AG’s sounded an alarm that DC law (grossly misread it turned out) would result in rats that had been trapped in DC being transported to the Commonwealth. Might he more appropriately be concerned with “straw man” purchases of hand guns bought in Virginia that facilitate criminals obtaining high guns? Who in the Commonwealth should be held responsible if multiple hand gun purchases again result in criminals obtaining some of the hand guns to rob, injury and kill?

    • Zoning Victim

      The robbers and killers are the ones who should be held accountable for their actions. If those idiotic cities didn’t take away their citizens rights, they wouldn’t have this problem to begin with. Disarming NYC is problem belonging to NYC and the state of New York, period. Virginians should not be inconvenienced out of the perception that the one gun a month law is really stopping criminals from illegally obtaining and selling handguns.

  • charlie

    ironic that AG thinks the rats of one state going to another is a bad thing but the guns of one state going to another is perfectly fine.
    i bought my guns in november 08. i’m set. i don’t need more.

    • KalashniKEV

      Guns-of-one-state going to another are just fine. Citizens own guns, and states don’t own citizens.

    • lol

      . . . that you own a gun, “charlie.”

  • JohnB

    Nothing from the Arlington haters about the reaffirmed AAA bond rating?

  • MC

    Curious, it seems the new director of the tenants rights organization, BRAVO, has only just this month moved to Arlington from elsewhere in the DC area, renting himself a place on Columbia Pike. Something doesn’t ring very credible having a new resident lecture long-term residents about how people are getting forced out due to lack of affordable housing.


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