A Pro-Gun County In Virginia Could Become Part of West Virginia

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Posted: Jan 19, 2020 8:05 PM
A Pro-Gun County In Virginia Could Become Part of West Virginia

Source: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

As Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) anti-gun agenda continues to move forward, local cities and governments have looked for ways to protect Virginians' Second Amendment rights. The state's neighbor, West Virginia, invited Fredrick County, Virginia to join their state.

How this possible? According to WUSA-TV, this all dates back to the Civil War, slavery and West Virginia's inception in 1861:

West Virginia became a state in 1861 when the Union-supporting counties of Northwestern Virginia broke off from the rest of the state, which eventually became the capital of the Confederacy. Frederick was one of three counties, along with Berkeley and Jefferson, given the opportunity to join West Virginia after the Civil War. 

Berkeley and Jefferson chose to do so, but Frederick never held a vote on the issue.

Virginia State Senator Charles Trump (R-Berkeley Springs) has said the Supreme Court's 1870 decision reserved Frederick County's ability to decide to join West Virginia. 

In his bill, Senate Concurrent Resolution 2, Sen. Trump breaks down the previous counties' layout:

Requesting the citizens of Frederick County, Virginia, to consider becoming a part of the State of West Virginia.

Whereas, Frederick County, Virginia, was formed in 1743, and Hampshire County, Virginia, was formed in 1754.  Most of what was originally Hampshire County, when it was formed in 1754, was territory that had been part of Frederick County.  Berkeley County, Virginia, was formed from Frederick County in 1772; and

Whereas, The counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire, Mineral, Hardy and Grant counties in the State of West Virginia all contain territory that was once part of Frederick County, Virginia, such that Frederick County, Virginia, may truly be regarded as the mother of all seven of these West Virginia counties; and

Whereas, In addition to the historical connections between Frederick County, Virginia, and the seven counties in West Virginia, which are her children, there have always existed strong familial ties between and among the inhabitants of those counties, as well as ties of commerce, business, religion, education, arts, society, politics, travel, recreation, and connections of every possible kind. There remain, as there have always been, feelings of deep affection for Frederick County and for her inhabitants by and among the citizens of West Virginia, and in particular by and among the citizens of those counties in West Virginia which may be regarded as the children of Frederick County. In 1862, when the government of Virginia, meeting in Wheeling, took up the question of the formation of a new state, Frederick County was among those counties which were regarded as having a natural place within the new state. So strong was the desire to have Frederick County join the new state that the opportunity for her to do that was specifically provided for by an Act of the Legislature;

Under the House version of the bill, county referendums have to take place in Virginia before Aug. 1, 2020, Bearing Arms reported. Should the Virginia General Assembly decide to vote to allow counties to leave their state and join West Virginia, West Virginia's legislature would then have to allow its residents across the state to vote on the issue this November. If voters passed the resolution, counties in Virginia would be alerted that they could, in fact, leave Virginia.