Despite the fact that Virginia is largely considered to be a pro-gun state, legislators have for years rationed the Second Amendment rights of its citizens with a law that limits handgun purchases to one a month — in effect, treating a constitutionally protected right as nothing more than a privilege [“Shooting itself in the foot,” editorial, Feb. 14].

Limiting the sale of firearms to law-abiding Virginians is premised on the false belief that doing so reduces illegal firearms trafficking. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the significant drop in crime that began in the mid-1990s coincided with more guns being in private possession and more restrictive gun laws being taken off the books.

We’re continuing to see this today. As crime continues to drop, we’ve just marked the 20th straight month that National Instant Criminal Background Check figures,used to gauge firearm sales, increased when compared with the same period the previous year.

Lawrence G. Keane, Newtown, Conn.

The writer is senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry.