Pendleton County signs resolution to become 'Constitutional County'

McConnell said this resolution is a reminder to the community they will continue to uphold the...
McConnell said this resolution is a reminder to the community they will continue to uphold the U.S Constitution.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 4:15 PM EST
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On Tuesday, the Pendleton County Commission unanimously voted to sign a resolution making the area a 'Constitutional County,' similar to Virginia counterparts like the

.

Scott Somerville, the author of the resolution, said he first introduced it to the Commission two weeks ago, asking the county to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.

After Democrats won control of Virginia's Senate and House of Delegates in November, a statewide movement erupted with local governments declaring themselves "Second Amendment sanctuaries" to express their opposition to proposed gun control legislation, much of which

and is on its way to Gov. Ralph Northam's desk for a signature.

More than 100 Virginia cities, towns, and counties passed resolutions declaring their support for the Second Amendment and their opposition to any legislation that would infringe on it.

,

,

, and

, as well as the towns of Grottoes, Stanley, and Strasburg, all passed such measures.

Others passed a slightly different resolution declaring their locality a Constitutional City, which essentially states that their local government will support all parts of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment.

After days of revision in Pendleton County, the commission unanimously voted on the updated resolution.

"Here's what it says, it says we support the Constitution, we support the Bill of Rights," Somerville said. "It continues to say we're not spending this county's money or sending this county's personnel to infringe on your constitutional rights."

Gene McConnel, a Commissioner of Pendleton County, said unlike Virginia's General Assembly, he believes there is no real threat to the Second Amendment in West Virginia, where the statehouse remains controlled by Republicans.

He said the Commission understands things do change and they would like their citizens to know they will always uphold every part of the U.S Constitution.

"The Constitution of the United States contains 27 amendments," McConnel said. "If you look around right now, given the climate we're in, there are some of the other amendments that could probably use some help too."

Somerville said Tuesday's action is a sign for those in their neighboring state who may be worried about their rights that West Virginia will always be open.

"We want to send a clear signal to the people of Harrisonburg, your city council has not yet passed a sanctuary resolution," Somerville said. "Well, it's cheaper to buy a hunting cabin in Pendleton County than hire a lawyer, so come on in."