West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce their support for Virginia counties to leave their current state and be annexed by West Virginia.
— Governor Jim Justice (@WVGovernor) January 28, 2020
Bearing Arms first told you about the push in the West Virginia legislature a couple of weeks ago, but since then support has only grown in the Mountaineer State, and Gov. Justice’s involvement ensures that the movement will be talked about in both states.
“A long time ago, the infringement of fundamental values is what really created the beginning of West Virginia. Now, in doing so the government of Virginia was probably significantly out of step, and therefore all of a sudden counties moved and West Virginia was formed,” the governor said during today’s press conference.
“In 1861 West Virginia’s first constitutional convention included 39 counties within the borders of the proposed new state, but also named an additional seven counties, all of those and all of those that were adjacent to those seven counties that would be eligible for inclusion if the people in those areas voted to be a part of the new state. When West Virginia’s constitution was drafted later that year, the number of counties was intentionally unlimited, with an invitation to Virginia counties to vote to join West Virginia along with a statement that ‘additional territory may be admitted into and become a part of the state with the consent of the legislature.”
Gov. Justice pointed out that a number of West Virginia lawmakers have recently introduced resolutions inviting Virginia counties to “come on down,” and said he echoes that sentiment.
“If you’re not truly happy where you are, we stand with open arms to take you from Virginia or anywhere you may be. We stand strongly for the Second Amendment and we stand strongly for the unborn. There are so many great things about West Virginia, and we’re on the verge of moving in a way that you can’t fathom.”
Gov. Justice said that each locality in Virginia would have to put a referendum on the ballot in November and voters would have to decide. Falwell said he was told that there has to be a petition, that would then go to the Board of Supervisors or City Council, then would be added to the ballot in November.
Then it would go to the General Assembly.
“If the groundswell of support grows for counties and cities to leave, what’s also certain is that they will be joining the Mountain State miracle that Governor Jim Justice has engineered with the help of his good friend, President Donald Trump,” Falwell said.
Given the fact that the Virginia General Assembly would have to give approval for any county to be annexed by West Virginia, I’d say this movement is more aspirational than practical, but that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily opposed to it. Heck, it would be interesting to see how many of the 91 Second Amendment Sanctuary counties would choose to leave the state if given the chance via a referendum. I’d sign a petition to hold a referendum in my county, but I also plan on spending most of my activism time devoted to electing pro-2A candidates in Virginia this November.
We’ll soon see if the #VAexit movement has legs, because it’s going to take backers of the idea showing up at county supervisors and city council meetings to make it happen. If we start seeing the same type of crowds that were showing up to push for Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, we’ll know that the support for the idea isn’t just coming from West Virginia lawmakers.