KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Commission has declared the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary, vowing to oppose any new gun laws they believe violate the Constitution.
All three commissioners — President Roger Leatherman, Dr. Richard Lechliter and Jerry Whisner — signed a resolution during a recent meeting, as did County Clerk Lauren Ellifritz.
Mineral County officials join others in the state who have enacted similar measures, including Putnam, Cabell and Tyler counties.
“I would like the citizens of Mineral County to know that we, as commissioners, are supportive of their gun rights,” Leatherman said.
The movement started in Virginia, where more than 30 counties have passed such resolutions, after Democrats won majorities in the state Senate and House of Delegates in November.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has even urged Virginia counties unhappy with the politics of that state to secede to West Virginia.
The Mineral County Commissioners’ resolution cites numerous Supreme Court decisions and West Virginia laws concerning the possession of firearms.
“The United States Supreme Court ... affirmed an individual’s right to possess firearms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home,” reads the resolution.
According to the resolution, the County Commission of Mineral County “wishes to express opposition to and to discourage the enactment of any law that would unconstitutionally restrict the rights of the citizens of Mineral County to keep and bear arms.”
The Mineral County Commission intends to “stand as a Sanctuary County for Second Amendment rights and to oppose, with the limits of the Constitution of the United States and the State of West Virginia, any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such rights,” the resolution continues.