On March 11th 2021, the Berkeley, WV County Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring Berkeley County a Second Amendment Sanctuary.
Verification Citation/Source: Berkeley County, WV – County Council
Resolution date passed: 11 Mar 2021
Vote Count: 4 Aye – 0 Nay
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING BERKELEY COUNTY AS A SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY COUNTY
WHEREAS, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (9-0) (1939) opined that private firearms whose use could contribute to an organize militia if called upon, may be protected by the Second Amendment; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, 544 U.S. 570 (5-4) (2008) found that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to possess firearms unrelated to service in a state militia or national guard; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (5-4) (2010), incorporated the Second Amendment by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, so that the right “to keep and bear arms” is a limit on states as well as the federal government; and
WHEREAS, Article III, Section 22 of the Constitution of West Virginia (1986) provides “A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use”; and
WHEREAS, Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of West Virginia (1872) reads, “All men are, by nature, equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity, namely: The enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety”; and
WHEREAS, Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution of West Virginia (1872) reads, “All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. Magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them”; and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Council recognizes that federal and state laws are presumed constitutional until finally declared otherwise by a court of appropriate jurisdiction; and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Council is concerned about the passage of any law or government action that would unconstitutionally infringe upon the rights of the citizens of Berkeley County to keep and bear arms; and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Council expresses its deep commitment to the rights of all law-abiding citizens of Berkeley County to keep and bear arms as constitutionally protected; and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Council expresses opposition to and discourages the enactment of laws that would unconstitutionally restrict the rights of the citizens of Berkeley County to keep and bear arms; and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Council recognizes that the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has held that “The West Virginia legislature may, through the valid exercise of its police power, reasonably regulate the right of a person to keep and bear arms in order to promote the health, safety and welfare of all citizens of this State, provided that the restrictions or regulations imposed do not frustrate the constitutional freedoms guaranteed by article III, section 22 of the West Virginia Constitution, known as the “Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment.” State ex rel. City of Princeton v. Buckner, 180 W. Va. 457, 377 S.E.2d 139 (1988); and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Council recognizes that the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has held that `It is axiomatic that the regulation and control of dangerous and deadly weapons is exclusively within the police power of the State exercised through the Legislature and not the Judiciary” Syl. Pt. 3., In Re Application of Dailey,195 W. Va. 330, 465 S.E.2d 601 (1995); and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Council stands as a sanctuary county for Second Amendment rights and opposes any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such rights; and to use such reasonable and legal means to protect the rights of the citizens of Berkeley County to keep and bear arms.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Berkeley County Council, that Berkeley County West Virginia is a “Second Amendment Sanctuary”; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Berkeley County Council will not use public funds to violate Second Amendment rights; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Berkeley County Council will not aid federal or state agencies in the violation of Second Amendment rights.
SIGNED THIS 11th day of March, 2021.
Douglas E. Copenhaver, Jr., President
James P. Whitacre, Vice President
Dan Dulyea, Councilperson
James R. Barnhart, Councilperson
G. Edgar Gochenour, Councilperson
Elaine C. Mauck, County Clerk
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