Forgive me if this is in the wrong place or considered a taboo topic but it concerned me after seeing what’s been happening all over the U.S., especially with attacks at the House fe allowed by making National Guardsmen deploy long term at the Captol. WTH is going on. Are militias legal? What day you? This is just an opinion dialog.

The reason I ask is I saw a member of another group has a couple of statements attached to his profile that includes “join your local militia”.

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My mom is in her late 70s and not particularly engaged in the news or politics. She brought up a second civil war to me the other day. Scary.


That’d be a state-by-state thing.

You have freedom of assembly. What makes a group of people an unlawful, unregulated “militia” I’m not quite sure. I suppose it’s when the group conspires to commit illegal acts, but I’ve never seen a good explanation.

You’ll hear a lot of different opinions from people who aren’t legal professionals. (I’m not a lawyer, either, by the way.) Some say the militia acts of the 18th and 19th centuries are no longer in effect due to the militia acts of the early 20th century (1903 & 1908) that established the National Guard as the state militias. Some states have their own militias in addition to the National Guard, which are off limits from Federal jurisdiction and call-ups. In SCOTUS cases such as United States v. Miller (1939) and even the more recent District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the high court notes that the militia is “all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,” although I’m not quite sure if they’re quoting that as a definition still in use or as the 19th century definition used to help understand the context of the 2nd Amendment.

For my part, I have friends I enjoy shooting with. We’re not a militia. We aren’t looking for privates to follow our orders. We’re just friends. I’d be wary of any group calling themselves a “militia” and actively recruiting. They might be great folks, but I don’t like playing dress-up Army with amateurs who carry live ammo.


They’re constitutionally legal. That’s the part about the 2nd Amendment people don’t like to talk about.

Most militias do tons of volunteer work and better their communities. The government is after them because they are organized and could potentially offer resistance to this illegitimate DNC presidency and agenda.


State Militias perform many necessary functions.
Ignored, misunderstood and under funded, I think getting called out at the Troop unit level is unlikely.
But I must say I enjoyed my time in my State Defense Force working on logistical problems posed by the Office of Emergency Services and the Guard.
A heck of a lot of fun!


I read that the Texas State Guard is or was a militia that was formally adopted by the state. I know people that were in it or still in it and can assure you that they would not stand a chance against a standing army.

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@KillJoy You have a point but it isn’t as clear cut as you might suggest.

That isn’t the point of the Militia. And the attitude about their effectiveness has always been as you stated. They wouldn’t stand a chance against the standing army. Mexico had a standing army and Texas didn’t. It was more of a Militia force at the Alamo and Gonzolas that gave what army Texas did have a chance. That is what the British said about much of the American forces and what we were told about the Viet Cong. It misses the point.

Many states have a SDF Militia that is responsible to the state government. Some have Militias that are like private clubs. None of them are designed to resist an army they are to help in a disaster like some did with Katrina. They are not the national guard but they could be much like a volunteer police force some cities use.

However the government is not supposed to use their standing army on US soil. I believe that is why they asked the governors to send the national guard. but the politics and legalities of all of that are above my pay grade.


I think King George the III and General Charles Cornwallis would disagree.

In the spirit of the founders, the militia is every armed person of fighting age. If, and this is a big IF, our military was to turn on us, it is the duty of every adult citizen to fight back. This is also why the Founders were against a standing army. Many soldiers “just following orders” might be used against the citizens of this nation. I hope and pray, that day never comes, but, I know it is not outside the realm of possibility.


Oh I agree but the statement is always made the Militia wouldn’t stand a chance against “what ever power is in control” without taking into account how many times a Militia or gorilla force has slowly reformed a nation. Examples in Africa, the Middle east and South America come to mind. I also agree with with the founding fathers thought about a Standing army.

But I understand, I think, why there is a increased interest in Militias now. It is the one sided idea of what constitutes a peaceful protest and by who. When people are allowed to come on TV and look in the camera to say, "We are coming out of the Urban areas and into your communities to take what we deserve. They believe that by force of numbers and apathy on the part of the governing body they have the power. People in the path of this rage are preparing themselves by force of arms to defend their homes. The hope is it never comes to it and it is all talk. But for some being prepared for the worse means accepting the unthinkable.


Talk to your mom. I’m 66 and I see things happening, my wife doesn’t really see it or doesn’t want to admit it. Things are going to be different the way it looks.


General George Washington would agree, though. He complained quite a bit about the unreliability of militias. The U.S. wouldn’t have won independence without militias, but we wouldn’t have beat the British without a professionally trained Army that could stand toe to toe, and we’d have never crossed the Appalachians without professional infantry.

Skip to modern day, I don’t know any militias that can take on Abrams tanks, A10s, F22s, or AH64s.

Perhaps it’s moot. I thought the question was about private militia groups.


How would one find a local militia, if they wanted to join…or they needed them? What do they do and what is the commitment, time and money? Is there a secret handshake or a funny hat (I had to ask…)?


I think we have talked a hard left turn here. Are you suggesting the US military can be used against US citizens on US soil? If it gets that far we are way past revolution. The Posse Comitatus Act would have to be violated. US military personnel would have to be deployed against their Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters. That would take a civil war and the last one of those had half of the officers joining the other side and some taking the weapons with them.

But the Militia isn’t designed to be an army. It is designed to work for the community. We may have gotten way off topic here.


I Googled “local militias” and two popped up near me. One is really close to my son. I’m a soldier. I won’t join a militia. I’ll do whatever is necessary to protect my family and then this country. But I have no illusions about attempting to fight an Army, my brothers and sisters. It would probably be fatal. I would help to defend our country against enemies both foreign and domestic. Domestic is tricky.

I’m confused.

And yet…

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State Militias, or SDFs or SMRs----whatever you call em are an element of the National Guard that cannot be federalized, but like the militia referenced in the Constitution is well organized with a State mission, primarily concerning quelling Civil Unrest as well as support for Guard units (my unit supplied an OPFOR function to train Guard units being deployed to the Middle East!) It is not a bunch of Bubbas outside the jurisdiction of Federal laws and all our equipment was on loan from DOD.
I know, I had to inventory every last piece of it

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I have to go back to the original question about whether militias were legal and why are they recruiting. So I assume we’re talking about local, private militias and not National Guard or state sanctioned reserve forces, because those are obviously legal.

I guess I don’t understand why a local group would declare themselves to be a militia. Are they worried about attacked from Indians? Canadians? Mexicans? The Dutch? Pirates? Historically, militias have been important in the United States because local communities had to be prepared for a hasty military defense from any number of threats. What threats are militias today prepared to combat?

Sorry if that comes off as harsh, but I’ve just never understood it. Like I said earlier, I have no problem with shooting groups. I’m also not bothered by an armed neighborhoods or businesses. But if I was in a group and they suddenly declared themselves to be a militia and started recruiting, I’d probably move on to another group.

That’s just me, to each his own. You’re free to associate with them, and I’m free to avoid them.

Yes I’m talking about rivate OCS militias. I wonder if my Knights of Columbus can be considered a militia. We do carry swords you know.



Really interesting discusion. I’m not sure that I’m capable of being an armchair militia member. lol