Legal action against militias
There’s a mistaken belief that the Second Amendment protects everything militia. But laws in every state make it clear that they do not. The U.S. Supreme Court underlined this in the 2008 case, Columbia v. Heller, which made it clear on one hand that gun ownership is an individual right, but on the other hand that the Second Amendment “does not prevent the prohibition of private military organizations.” (Drug prohibition backfired, so be careful, here.)
Armed white men have shown up at Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the Inland Northwest, including Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, reports columnist Shawn Vestal in the Spokesman Review (June 24). He says, “All around the white rural West, armed self-appointed militia dudes have risen up in opposition to the call for civil rights and police reform around the death of George Floyd, disrupting peaceful protests, glowering at people with cardboard signs, declaring themselves defenders of America.”
Property tax patriots who are directed into racist activity should be wary of their leadership.For your state, search: Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, search “private military activity is prohibited,” then download the first result: “Prohibiting private armies …”
ICAP wants officials to know they have legal authority they might not know they have to protect American freedom marchers. ICAP offers pro bono legal assistance if officials want it. And ICAP wants the public to know of these laws in case they want their leaders to use them.
Here’s my ask. Next time there’s a hint of militant action against a planned protest in Pullman, I ask that Mayor Glenn Johnson and Police Chief Gary Jenkins don’t scare the merchants, protesters and city staff. Rather, I ask that they advise the militias that their presence would invite legal action, per Washington’s constitution and tax codes.