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Virginia Tech anger as gun control repealed

A Virginia state law limiting handgun purchases has been repealed, angering victims of the worst mass shooting in US history.

Republican Governor Bob McDonnell signed the bill repealing the measure, which limits handgun purchases to one per month, into law after it was passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

Governor McDonnell had met families of people killed or injured in the 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech university.

They had hoped to persuade him to veto the bill, but Andrew Goddard, whose son was injured in the incident that left the gunman and 32 others dead, said the Governor had previously declared he would sign the bill and "it would have been very difficult for him to go back on it".

Lori Haas, whose daughter, Emily, was also injured, said: "Getting rid of the one-handgun-a-month law will make it easier for gun traffickers to purchase handguns in bulk. There have been too many tragedies in other states fuelled by guns that come from Virginia, and this will only make the situation worse."

The 1993 law was a legacy of L Douglas Wilder, a Democratic Governor, passed when Virginia was a favourite armoury for East Coast criminals.