user wrote:Well thought out, direct and logical.The following is the text of the message I've sent. Note the critical language, "without affecting the rights of Virginia to buy and sell personal property lawfully." If it were a felony to attempt to purchase a handgun illegally, by say, a New York resident, for example, who knows perfectly well that he is ineligible, then it would be appropriate to charge such person here, and extradite him for trial. And conspiracy to commit a crime results in exactly the same degree of criminal culpability as does the act itself. So, for example, if someone like, say, Michael Bloomberg, sent people into Virginia to attempt to purchase guns illegally, he'd be guilty of a felony conspiracy in Virginia. If you like what I've written, I invite you to copy it to your senators and delegates, too.
I have observed that it is not a crime in Virginia to knowingly purchase or attempt to purchase, a handgun, when one is in fact ineligible to do so. Enacting such a statute would effectively close the "gun show loophole" without affecting the rights of Virginians to buy and sell personal property lawfully. I suggest that such a statute should provide that a violation constitutes a class-six felony (the law already provides that such may be treated as a class-one misdemeanor for sentencing purposes in the court's discretion). Finally, the word, "knowingly" is important, because that language makes it clear that it is a "specific intent offense", such that a purchase by one who does not know, or does not have reason to know, that he is ineligible will not be guilty. There are a number of statutes that make it a crime to be in possession of a handgun because of various specific kinds of factors (conviction of a felony, adjudication of insanity, etc.), but there is nothing governing the purchase of a handgun by a person who is not lawfully entitled to possession. A nonresident or minor, for example. The specific language I'd use in drafting such a statute is as follows: "No person shall purchase or attempt to purchase a handgun in Virginia who has reason to know at the time of the proposed purchase that he is not lawfully entitled to purchase orbe in possession of such handgun. A violation of this section shall be punished as a class-six felony. Actual ignorance of ineligibility shall constitute an affirmative defense."
Equally important it allows us (the pro community) to say that we closed the gun show loophole.