U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine (D) is urging his successor in the governor’s mansion to veto a bill to repeal the state’s one-per-month limit on handgun purchases.

Kaine is also using the contentious bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday to draw a distinction between him and at least two of the Republican candidates for Senate, George Allen and Robert G. Marshall, who support lifting the ban.

“I hope that others will stand with me in supporting this common sense measure which has improved public safety in Virginia and helped the Commonwealth shake its reputation as a supplier of handguns along the East Coast,” Kaine said in a statement. “The long-standing law strikes an appropriate balance between the 2nd amendment rights of Virginians and the public safety interests of our citizens.”

Pro-gun lawmakers have tried for years to end handgun purchase limits, imposed in 1993 under Democratic Gov. L. Douglas Wilder to curb gun trafficking.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who voted for the cap as a delegate but vowed to lift it as a gubernatorial candidate, has indicated that he will sign the legislation.

Kaine sent out an e-mail about the bill to supporters. McDonnell’s opponent, whom Kaine supported for governor, Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), was one of two Democrats who voted to lift the ban.

Marshall said in an interview that he never supported the limit, which he called unnecessary government encroachment, and added that there has been no proof the limit has helped.

Bill Riggs, an Allen spokesman, said, “We believe the way to make Virginia communities safer is by targeting crime and criminals, not law-abiding citizens.”

Wilder did not return repeated phone calls. McDonnell’s office declined to comment.