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Disarming The Militia Act

  • A well regulated militia is necessary to a free state. Then why is Congress trying to disarm them?
  • Congress wants to make it illegal for your neighborhood watch or church security group to train to defend themselves and others.
  • What happens if it becomes illegal for people to assemble to prepare to defend themselves?  


The gun grabbers in Congress are at it again. Attempts to disarm the American people have only been moderately successful over the past few years, so a bill was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. Entitled the Preventing Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024”, this bill wants to make it a crime for private citizens to work together to defend their rights. If this bill were to become law some day, even training together could not only get you fined, but placed in jail, possibly for life.


Have these members of Congress forgotten that our war of independence was started by an attempt by the British governor of Massachusetts to disarm the people? That the the battles of Lexington and Concord were fought by private citizens who formed a militia? Or could it be that they just dont care about our rights and the Constitution, and are just looking for another way to subjugate the American people?

Sometimes I wonder if there are those in Congress actually trying to start a new war of independence? I only ask because it seems there are some in that body who seem dead set on repeating the mistakes the British made back in the 18th century. Take, for example, the battles of Lexington and Concord.

Battle of Lexington

After a decade of tension between the British government and the American Colonies, the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in North America, Thomas Gage, was given the authority to use force to find and destroy military supplies. On April 18, 1775, General Gage ordered approximately 800 British troops to march to Concord to destroy weapons and ammunition he believed were hidden there. When the patriots in Boston learned of the orders, they dispatched Paul Revere and William Dawes to ride to Concord, warning those they could along the way.

By the early hours of April 19th, the local militia, under the command of Captain John Parker, had assembled on Lexington Green. At dawn the British troops, under the command of Lieutenant John Pitcairn, marched into Lexington. Lt. Pitcairn ordered Parker and his men to drop their weapons and disperse. A shot rang out, from which side no one truly knows, but once it did, both sides opened fire. This shot heard round the world” was the beginning of open combat between the British and Americans.

The actions of General Gage and Lt. Pitcairn were not intended to start a war, but they did. The desire of tyrants to disarm their subjects did not start in the American colonies, but the fight against such usurpation is certainly part of our American DNA. Our right to keep and bear arms has been enshrined in the Second Amendment, along with our need for a militia. Or, as these members of Congress wish to call them, Private Paramilitary Activity”.

Preventing Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024

Ever since 1934 and the passing of the National Firearms Act, Congress and the federal government as a whole, has claimed the power to infringe on your right to keep and bear arms because they think they know best. Certain weapons were too dangerous for private use. Certain places were too dangerous for you to defend yourself. And now, with the introduction of the Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024, Congress wants to tell you that certain groups are too dangerous to be armed.

(a) Offense.—It shall be unlawful to knowingly, in a circumstance described in subsection (b), while acting as part of or on behalf of a private paramilitary organization and armed with a firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or other dangerous weapon—
(1) publically patrol, drill, or engage in techniques capable of causing bodily injury or death;
(2) interfere with, interrupt, or attempt to interfere with or interrupt government operations or a government proceeding;
(3) interfere with or intimidate another person in that persons exercise of any right under the Constitution of the United States;
(4) assume the functions of a law enforcement officer, peace officer, or public official, whether or not acting under color of law, and thereby assert authority or purport to assert authority over another person without the consent of that person; or
(5) train to engage in any activity described in paragraphs (1) through (4).

That's quite a laundry list of things Congress wants to prohibit. Lets start with how Congress wishes to define a private paramilitary organization”.

The term private paramilitary organizationmeans any group of 3 or more persons associating under a command structure for the purpose of functioning in public or training to function in public as a combat, combat support, law enforcement, or security services unit. Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024

Basically, Congress wants to outlaw militias, except for some well talk about later. A militia is defined as:

a: a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
b: a body of citizens organized for military service

Militias are essential not only to our individual freedom, but the freedom of our states. 
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Without a militia, our states would be defenseless against federal intrusion and overreach. Without the ability for citizens to come together to defend themselves, they would be defenseless against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Its not just the militia that Congress is trying to control, but our right to peaceably assemble for our own defense.

Look at the things Congress doesnt want the people to train for: a combat, combat support, law enforcement, or security services unit.”

Do you look at the world around us and wonder if or when society falls apart, will we be forced to defend ourselves? Are you concerned that something like the movie Red Dawn will actually happen here? Or have you watched the riots in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle, New York, Chicago, and other cities, and want to prepare should something like that happen near you?

According to Congress, if you get two friends to work together, you could be a private paramilitary organization.

Are you part of church security team, a neighborhood watch, or any other group who prepares should they need to provide for their own security? Then you most definitely part of a private paramilitary organization according to this legislation. Even the act of training for such an eventuality is considered unlawful under this act.

Congress does claim to restrict this act to certain circumstances:

The circumstances described in this subsection are that the conduct described in subsection (a)—
(1) involves—
(A) travel across a State line or national border; or
(B) the use of the channels, facilities, or instrumentalities of interstate or foreign commerce;
(2) involves a firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or dangerous weapon that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce;
(3) involves the use of ammunition or a large capacity ammunition feeding device that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce;
(4) obstructs, delays, or affects interstate or foreign commerce; or
(5) occurs wholly within any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States. Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024

Do you want to help out at the southern border? Better not cross state lines to do it. Want to assist during a riot or national disaster? Congress seems to want you to stay home rather than help. And unless you just happen to live near a firearm and ammunition factory, youre going to have get such tools through interstate or foreign commerce.

Why this focus on interstate or foreign commerce? Because these people in Congress are trying to cloak their tyranny under the Commerce Clause, which delegates to Congress the power:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.

However, this isnt regulating commerce. Its regulating people, isolating them, and making it illegal for them work together to even prepare to defend themselves.

Of course, these members of Congress did, sort of, write in some exceptions to their tyranny.

Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
(1) the armed forces of the United States, the National Guard, the Naval Militia, any regularly organized State militia, or any unorganized or reserve militia called into service by a State or the United States;
(2) a group of individuals who—
(A) associate as a military organization solely for purposes of historical reenactment or study; or
(B) parade in public as part of a bona fide veterans organization with no intent to engage in the activities prohibited by subsection (a);
(3) students in an educational institution authorized by the Federal Government or a State to teach military science as a prescribed part of the course of instruction, when under the supervision of a military instructor; or
(4) members of an organization that is authorized under Federal or State law to provide paramilitary, law enforcement, or security services training or to engage in paramilitary activity, law enforcement, or security services when performing the functions authorized by law and, in the case of paramilitary activity and law enforcement functions, when under the direction and control of a governmental authority. Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024


You see, if you are part of a government authorized, and therefore government regulated, paramilitary organization”, then thats just fine. Let We the People work together to protect ourselves though, and the tyrants in Congress get very upset.

Now what good would such a law be if there werent some penalties applied?

Any person who violates subsection (a) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both, except that—

(1) in the case of a violation that does not result in bodily injury and is committed by a person who has not, prior to the commission of the violation, been convicted of violating a Federal or State law, the person may be sentenced to probation for a term of not more than 1 year;
(2) in the case of a violation that occurs after a prior conviction under this section has become final, the person shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both;
(3) in the case of a violation that results in damage to property, the person shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both;
(4) in the case of a violation that results in—
(A) bodily injury, the person shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both; or
(B) death, the person shall be fined under this title and imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
(2) PROCEDURES.—Section 413 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 853), with the exception of subsections (a) and (d), shall apply to the criminal forfeiture of property pursuant to this subsection. Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024

Basically, the penalties start at a fine, without any limitation on how large, and a year in federal prison, for the act of collectively preparing to defend yourself and your neighbors. But wait, theres more.

(e) Forfeiture.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Any person who violates subsection (a) shall forfeit to the United States any property, personal or real, involved in, used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, the violation, or that constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the violation.

(2) PROCEDURES.—Section 413 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 853), with the exception of subsections (a) and (d), shall apply to the criminal forfeiture of property pursuant to this subsection.       Private Paramilitary Activity Act of 2024

Thats right, if you are convicted, the federal government gets your stuff. Depending on what type and how much equipment you and your friends purchased, that could be thousands, possibly millions of dollars.


Should this piece of legislation become law, it would be void because it violates at least three rights protected by the Constitution of the United States.

First, it obviously violates the Second Amendment, since it infringes on peoples right to keep and bear arms. It also violates the First Amendments Assembly clause.

Congress shall make no law … prohibiting … the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

This law doesnt prohibit people for assembling to cause violence, it prohibits people from publicly drilling, patrolling, or engaging in techniques that are capable of causing bodily injury.

Tell me, does that mean that a baseball team cannot walk onto the field with their bats on their shoulders? Because not only can playing that game cause bodily injury, but baseball bats are technically clubs, and according to the FBI clubs are used to commit murder more often than the terrifying assault weapon”.

Congress cannot take away your right to peacefully assemble because you MAY do something or because it looks scary.

Furthermore, Congress cannot prevent you from interfering with government operation or proceedings if they are illegal. Courts have found that people can defend themselves against unlawful arrest, though I would recommend you have a VERY good case before you try it.

Even the Supreme Court, in the case John Bad Elk v. United States found that Mr. Bad Elk had legitimately used lethal force to defend himself against a law enforcement officer who was unnecessarily using excessive force to arrest him.

Perhaps we should remind those in Congress of another examples where a private militia rose up to protect the rights of others. In the Battle of Athens, TN, veterans armed themselves and fought against law enforcement and government officials who were trying to steal an election. When the corrupt Sheriff left the county, it was the private paramilitary organization” that patrolled the streets to keep law and order until a new Sheriff could be elected.

Last, but certainly not least, this act would violate the Fifth Amendments Due Process Clause.
No person shall be … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

You have a right to live at liberty, without restraint except as necessary for public safety. Patrolling a neighborhood armed is not a danger to public safety. Publicly drilling in the use of weapons, martial arts, or anything that is capable of causing bodily injury is not a danger to public safety.

And never forget that government actors, including law enforcement, are there to serve you, not the other way around.

I can see only one logical reason for this type of legislation. Similar to the orders to destroy the firearms and ammunition of the colonists, this legislation is meant to leave the American people unarmed, untrained, and unprepared to act as a free people. This leaves them dependent on government for their own safety, and makes them subject to the governments will.

This bill should not only be named the Disarming The Militia Act”, It should be called the Preparing to Enslave the American People Act”.



Paul Engel is an Affiliate of Institute on the Constitution. He founded The Constitution Study in 2014 to help everyday Americans read and study the Constitution. Author and speaker, Paul has spent more than 20 years studying and teaching about both the Bible and the U.S. Constitution. Freely admitting that he “learned more about our Constitution from School House Rock than in 12 years of public school” he proves that anyone can be a constitutional scholar. You can find his books on the Institute on the Constitution Store (, Amazon, and Apple Books. You can also listen to his weekday radio show on America Out Loud. You can reach him at