Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed a bill Tuesday that
The bill law was passed in 1993, when Virginia was a haven for gun runners.
McDonnell said earlier this month he would sign the bill, which was passed by the General Assembly on Feb. 15.
The signing comes after McDonnell met with families of people killed or injured in the April 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The families had hoped to persuade him to veto the bill. Thirty-three students, teachers and the gunman died at Virginia Tech.
The 1993 law was a major legislative legacy of Democratic former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, passed when Virginia was a favorite armory for East Coast criminals. It never applied to rifles or shotguns, the Associated Press reported.
The law was intended to stanch the flow of guns from Virginia to New York City and other metropolitan areas in the Northeast. In 1991, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that 40 percent of the 1,236 guns found at crime scenes in New York had been purchased in Virginia, the Associated Press reported.