Ensure Future Protests Remain Free from Unlawful Militia Activity

Ensure Future Protests Remain Free from Unlawful Militia Activity

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Jonathan Jordan started this petition to Mayor Steve Widmyer and

In addition to signing the petition, you can send the body of this message below to:
mayor@cdaid.org; mgridley@cdaid.org; cwood@cdaid.org; aevans@cdaid.org; dgookin@cdaid.org; wmcevers@cdaid.org;
denglish@cdaid.org; kmiller@cdaid.org; lwhite@cdaid.org; bwolfinger@kcgov.us; bmchugh@kcgov.us; kcbocc@kcgov.us;
mbm7@georgetown.edu; governor@gov.idaho.gov

As a resident of Kootenai County, I am concerned with the recent increase of militias that occupy our towns. While I support the second amendment rights of our citizens, militias continue to exploit these protections to intimidate citizens. Both local, and more concerningly, out-of-state, paramilitary groups exploit our beautiful towns for political gain. I do not support nor appreciate outsiders that bring hate, violence, and intimidation to our communities. Please join me and other concerned citizens in condemning these actions.

Rural communities need increased investment in cohesion, not division. These militias and paramilitary groups exploit false threats to make political statements. We look to you for leadership as they break state laws and statutes with impunity.¹ We have elected officials and fund civil servants to protect our communities. Please support these legal and ethical protections and keep untrained, unelected, and unwelcomed hate from our streets.


Concerned Kootenai County Resident


As you may be aware, several provisions of Idaho law prohibit private paramilitary activity. In particular, the Idaho Constitution’s Strict Subordination Clause forbids private military units from operating outside state authority, providing that “[t]he military shall be subordinate to the civil power.” Idaho Const. art. I, § 12. Moreover, Idaho’s statute prohibiting “unorganized associations” from engaging in paramilitary activity states, “[n]o body of men, other than the regularly organized national guard, the unorganized militia when called into service of the state, or of the United States . . . shall associate themselves together as a military company or organization, or parade in public with firearms in any city or town of this state.” Idaho Code § 46-802. The Supreme Court has long recognized that such laws are constitutional and do not violate the Second Amendment.¹

Other provisions of Idaho law make clear that the Governor of Idaho, as commander-in-chief, is the state official who has the authority to call the unorganized militia (all able-bodied Idaho citizens between the ages of 18 and 45) into active service. Idaho Code § 46-106 (“Whenever the governor as commander-in-chief, shall call into the active service of the state the unorganized militia or any part thereof, it shall be organized into such units and shall be armed and equipped in such manner as the governor in his discretion shall deem proper. The officers thereof, shall be appointed and commissioned by the governor under such rules and regulations as he may deem expedient to promulgate.”); see also Idaho Code § 46-110 (“The governor of the state by virtue of his office, shall be commander-in-chief of the national guard, except of such thereof, as may be at times in the service of the United States.”). Accordingly, private militias have no authority to deploy to engage in law enforcement or military functions outside of these carefully circumscribed laws, and no official other than the governor has authority to call into service private militias or to activate the “unorganized militia.”

All 50 states have similar laws or constitutional provisions that bar private paramilitary activity. After the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent, ICAP, citing Virginia antiparamilitary laws, filed a successful lawsuit on behalf of the city, small businesses, and residential associations against a number of militia organizations involved in the unrest. The Charlottesville Circuit Court agreed in a written ruling that the city could invoke the provisions of Virginia’s Constitution and state laws to seek court orders prohibiting the private paramilitary conduct. The case resulted in court orders against 23 individuals and organizations barring them from returning to Charlottesville in groups of two or more acting in concert while armed with anything that could be used as a weapon during any rally, protest, demonstration, or march.

¹ See District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 620 (2008); Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 264-265 (1886).
600 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 | (202) 662-9042 | reachICAP@georgetown.edu

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!