Virginia to Bloomberg: back off

May 10, 2007 at 10:48 AM
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RICHMOND, Va., May 10 (UPI) -- Virginia lawmakers have passed a bill to stop New York from targeting its gunsellers.

Virginia Attorney General Robert McDonnell has written New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, warning that he and his agents could be charged if they continue to conduct undercover sting operations in Virginia gun shops.

"This was a courtesy letter to the mayor to advise him about a change in Virginia law of which he should be aware," McDonnell told the Washington Post.

New York has sued 24 Virginia gundealers after Bloomberg equipped private investigators with hidden cameras to conduct undercover gun purchases in which one person filled out the paperwork but another bought the gun.

Virginia law now requires that state or federal law enforcement officials be present before such stings can be conducted

City officials said that guns from Virginia have been used in New York homicides.

"We wish Attorney General McDonnell was as aggressive in enforcing the laws that prevent illegal guns from getting in the hands of criminals as he was in enforcing the laws that protect the gun lobby," Jason Post, a Bloomberg spokesman, told the Post.

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