Rumor vs Reality

Rumor: Private militias are protected by the Constitution. Reality: Militias are only legal if they've been called up by the government.

Published October 13, 2020

This card was produced in partnership with the Stop Digital Voter Suppression Project.

Militias are only legal if they have been activated by the state or federal government. Otherwise, they are just an armed mob with a name. If you see a so-called “militia” trying to enforce laws, that’s almost certainly illegal. Check with the police or call the Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-Our-Vote.

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Are militias legal?

If they weren’t called up by the government, a militia is just a mob and has no authority. They cannot order you to do anything.

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