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Weld County commissioners ready to secede from U.S., create 51st state?

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How unhappy is Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway about the political direction in which Colorado is heading?

So unhappy that he and several of his colleagues are gathering support among officials in other nearby counties to form what he calls the "51st Star Committee."

Its mission: to secede from Colorado and become a separate state.

It's been clear for a while now that office holders in many rural counties have become increasingly frustrated with the state legislature. Witness the coalition of 55 sheriffs, including Weld County's John Cooke, who are suing over Colorado's new gun-control laws, which include broader background checks and bans on magazines that can hold more than fifteen rounds.

But according to Conway, speaking to 9News, the final straw was Governor John Hickenlooper's signing of Senate Bill 13-252 (it's on view below), which is intended to promote renewable energy -- although critics fear it will also jack up rates for consumers in outlying parts of the state.

Conway isn't exploring secession solo. He's got some fellow Weld County commissioners in his corner, including Mike Freeman and Doug Rademacher, both of whom joined Conway earlier this year in backing a resolution championing the Second Amendment (see that document below, too). And he tells the Fort Collins Coloradoan that they've had conversations about splitting off from Colorado with peers in Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson counties.

The process of secession is complicated and onerous, and it hasn't been successfully accomplished since 1863, with the formation of West Virginia. But that's not stopping Conway and company, who say that if they achieve their goal, they'll name their new creation North Colorado -- unless they get even more support than anticipated.

"We're not excluding anybody," he told the paper. "We don't know how many counties this could be. There's been discussions that this could include the entire Eastern Plains of Colorado eventually."

Oh my. Look below to see a 9News report, Senate Bill 13-252 and the Second Amendment resolution passed by the commissioners in January.

Senate Bill 13-252

Weld County Second Amendment Resolution

More from our News archive: "Colorado gun-control laws: Here's why 55 sheriffs think they're illegal."

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