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Individual State Militia Laws

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Article 17


Section 1. Persons subject to service. The militia of the state shall consist of all able bodied male residents of the state between the ages of eighteen and forty five years; except, such persons as may be exempted by the laws of the United States, or of the state.


Section 2. Organization equipment discipline. The organization, equipment and discipline of the militia shall conform as nearly as practicable, to the regulations for the government of the armies of the United States.


Section 3. Officers how chosen. The governor shall appoint all general, field and staff officers and commission them. Each company shall elect its own officers, who shall be commissioned by the governor; but if any company shall fail to elect such officers within the time prescribed by law, they may be appointed by the governor.


Section 4. Armories. The general assembly shall provide for the safekeeping of the public arms, military records, relics and banners of the state.


Section 5. Exemption in time of peace. No person having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace; provided, such person shall pay an equivalent for such exemption.

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Right of Petition

Section 20.

The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes by petition, address or remonstrance.


Right to Bear Arms

Section 21.

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.


Standing Army; Military Subordinate to Civil Power

Section 22.

No standing army shall, in time of peace, be kept up without the consent of the Legislature, and the military shall in all cases and at all times be in strict subordination to the civil power.

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(a) Any two or more persons who assemble as a paramilitary organization for the purpose of practicing with weapons shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. As used in this subdivision, “paramilitary organization” means an organization which is not an agency of the United States government or of the State of California, or which is not a private school meeting the requirements set forth in Section 48222 of the Education Code, but which engages in instruction or training in guerrilla warfare or sabotage, or which, as an organization, engages in rioting or the violent disruption of, or the violent interference with, school activities.


(b) (1) Any person who teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or destructive device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that these objects or techniques will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in the furtherance of a civil disorder, or any person who assembles with one or more other persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or destructive device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, with the intent to cause or further a civil disorder, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. Nothing in this subdivision shall make unlawful any act of any peace officer or a member of the military forces of this state or of the United States, performed in the lawful course of his or her official duties.


(2) As used in this section:

(A) “Civil disorder” means any disturbance involving acts of violence which cause an immediate danger of or results in damage or injury to the property or person of any other individual.

(B) “Destructive device” has the same meaning as in Section 12301.

© “Explosive” has the same meaning as in Section 12000 of the Health and Safety Code.

(D) “Firearm” means any device designed to be used as a weapon, or which may readily be converted to a weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion, or the frame or receiver of this weapon.

(E) “Peace officer” means any peace officer or other officer having the powers of arrest of a peace officer, specified in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.



Laws Regarding Private Militias

Federal law prohibits paramilitary training and the manufacture or transport of weapons with the knowledge or intent that they will be used to create a civil disturbance. Ref 10 Federal law differs from most state laws prohibiting paramilitary training in that it applies only to the trainers, not the trainees. Under most state laws governing paramilitary training, participation as a trainee is also illegal.


Laws are on the books in 41 states to ban either the militias themselves or paramilitary training or both. Ref 11


The two types of laws operate differently. Anti-paramilitary training laws ban groups whose members know or intend that a civil disorder will result from their activities. Anti-militia laws ban all unauthorized militias, regardless of whether the participants have any specific criminal intent or knowledge. Anti-militia laws generally require evidence that a group of people are associated together in a formal military-type organization. Anti-paramilitary training statutes, by contrast, can be used against groups as small as two or three people. Both types of laws generally exempt organizations like hunting clubs.


These laws are seldom enforced, but they are relevant to an adjudicative determination that an individual is engaging in either lawful or unlawful militia activities.


The state laws and the legal citations for them are as follows:

Alabama. Anti-militia. Ala. Code § 31-2-125

Arizona. Anti-militia. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 26-123.

Arkansas. Anti-paramilitary training. Ark. Code § 5-71-301 to -303.

California. Anti-paramilitary training. Cal. Penal Code § 11460.

Colorado. Anti-paramilitary training. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-120.

Connecticut. Anti-paramilitary training. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-206b.

Florida. Anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training. Fla. Stat. Ann. ch. 870.06, 790.29.

Georgia. Anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training. Ga. Code Ann. §§ 38-2-277, 16-11-150 to -152.

Idaho. Anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training. Idaho Code §§ 46-802, 18-8101 to -8105.

Iowa. Anti-militia. Iowa Code § 29A.31

Illinois. Anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training. Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 1805, para 94-95.

Kansas. Anti-militia. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 48-203.

Kentucky. Anti-militia. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 38.440.

Louisiana. Anti-paramilitary training. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 117.1.

Maine. Anti-militia. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. ***. 37-B, § 342.2.

Maryland. Anti-militia. Md. Code Ann. art. 65, § 35.

Massachusetts. Anti-militia. Mass. Gen. L. ch. 33 § 129-132.

Michigan. Anti-paramilitary training. Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.528a.

Minnesota. Anti-militia. Minn. Stat. § 624.61.

Mississippi. Anti-militia. Miss. Code Ann. § 33-1-31.

Missouri. Anti-paramilitary training. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 574.070.

Nebraska. Anti-paramilitary training. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1480 to -1482.

Nevada. Anti-militia. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 203.080.

New Hampshire. Anti-militia. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 111:15.

New Jersey. Anti-paramilitary training. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:39-14.

New Mexico. Anti-paramilitary training. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-20A-1 to -4.

New York. Anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training. N.Y. Mil. Law § 240.

North Carolina. Anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 127A-151, 14-288.20.

North Dakota. Anti-militia. N.D. Cent. Code § 37-01-21.

Oklahoma. Anti-paramilitary training. Okla. Stat. Ann. ***. 21, § 1321.10.

Oregon. Anti-paramilitary training. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.660.

Pennsylvania. Anti-paramilitary training. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5515.

Rhode Island. anti-militia and anti-paramilitary training. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 30-12-7, 11-55-1 to -3.

South Carolina. Anti-paramilitary training. S.C. Code Ann. § 16-8-10 to -30.

Tennessee. Anti-paramilitary training. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-314.

Texas. Anti-militia. Tex. Govt. Code; Ann. § 431.010.

Virginia. Anti-paramilitary training. Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-433.1 to -433.3.

Washington. Anti-militia. Wash. Rev. Code § 38.40.120.

West Virginia. Anti-militia. W.Va. Code § 15-1F-7.

Wyoming. Anti-militia. Wyo. Stat. § 19-1-106.


States with Anti-Militia Laws Only (17)

Alabama. ALA. CODE s 31-2-125.

Arizona. ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. s 26-123.

Iowa. IOWA CODE s 29A.31.

Kansas. KAN. STAT. ANN. s 48-203.

Kentucky. KY. REV. STAT. ANN. s 38.440.

Maine. ME. REV. STAT. ANN. ***. 37-B, s 342.2.

Maryland. MD. CODE ANN. art. 65, s 35.

Massachusetts. MASS. GEN. L. ch. 33, s 129-132.

Minnesota. MINN. STAT. s 624.61.

Mississippi. MISS. CODE ANN. $ 33-1-31.

Nevada. NEV. REV. STAT. s 203-080.

New Hampshire. N.H. REV. STAT. ANN. s 111:15.

North Dakota. N.D. CENT. CODE s 37-01-21.

Texas. TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. s 431.010.

Washington. WASH. REV. CODE s 38.40.120.

West Virginia. W. VA. CODE s 15-1F-7.

Wyoming. WYO. STAT. s 19-1-106.


States with Anti-Paramilitary Training Laws Only (17)

Arkansas. ARK. CODE s 5-71-301 to -303.

California. CAL. PENAL CODE s 11460.

Colorado. COLO. REV. STAT. s 18-9-120.

Connecticut. CONN. GEN. STAT. s 53-206b.

Louisiana. LA. REV. STAT. ANN. s 117.1.

Michigan. MICH. COMP. LAWS s 750.528a.

Missouri. MO. REV. STAT. s 574.070.

Montana. MONT. CODE ANN. s 45-8-109.

Nebraska. NEB. REV. STAT. s 28-1480 to -1482.

New Jersey. N.J. REV. STAT. s 2C:39-14.

New Mexico. N.M. STAT. ANN. s 30-20A-1 to -4.

Oklahoma. OKLA. STAT. ANN. ***. 21, s 1321.10.

Oregon. OR. REV. STAT. s 166.660.

Pennsylvania. 18 PA. CONS. STAT. s 5515.

South Carolina. S.C. CODE ANN. s 16-8-10 to -30.

Tennessee. TENN. CODE ANN. s 39-17-314.

Virginia. VA. CODE ANN. s 18.2-433.1 to -433.3.


States with Both Anti-Militia and Anti-Paramilitary Training Laws (7)

Florida. FLA. STAT. ANN. ch. 870.06, 790.29.

Georgia. GA. CODE ANN. ss 38-2-277, 16-11-150 to -152.

Idaho. IDAHO CODE ss 46-802, 18-8101 to -8105.

Illinois. ILL. REV. STAT. ch. 1805, para. 94-95.

New York. N.Y. MIL. LAW s 240.

North Carolina. N.C. GEN. STAT. ss 127A-151, 14-288.20.

Rhode Island. R.I. GEN. LAWS ss 30-12-7, 11-55-1 to -3.


We also have a law §15-1F-7 prohibiting “Unlawful military organizations.” A lawful Citizen militia, however, is a legitimate emergency service force, therefore not affected by many of these laws. Such laws are in place to prevent associations of eco-terrorists (and other terrorists) and activists who intend to cause social unrest or commit sedition. You are responsible to know your local laws , its pretty simple really don't break the law and you will be fine.

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United States Code


Pertaining to the maintenance of State Defense Forces

  • United States Code

§ Section 109. Maintenance of other troops

(a) In time of peace, a State or Territory,
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or the District of Columbia may
maintain no troops other than those of its National Guard and defense
forces authorized by subsection (c).

(b) Nothing in this title limits the right of a State or
Territory, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or the District of Columbia
to use its National Guard or its defense forces authorized by subsection
(c) within its borders in time of peace, or prevents it from organizing
and maintaining police or constabulary.

(c) In addition to its National Guard, if any, a State or
Territory, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or the District of Columbia
may, as provided by its laws, organize and maintain defense forces. A
defense force established under this section may be used within the
jurisdiction concerned, as its chief executive (or commanding general in
the case of the District of Columbia) considers necessary, but it may
not be called, ordered, or drafted into the armed forces.

(d) A member of a defense force established under subsection (c)
is not, because of that membership, exempt from service in the armed
forces, nor is he entitled to pay, allowances, subsistence,
transportation, or medical care or treatment, from funds of the United

(e) A person may not become a member of a defense force
established under subsection (c) if he is a member of a reserve
component of the armed forces.

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