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I wanted to find the legal definition of the term "militia" according to the United States Federal Government. My understanding of the term is that it doesn't refer to the National Guard at all, but to the citizens of the United States not in uniform. I always think back to Mel Gibson's The Patriot and how at the end battle the militia is out there in the center for battle and the British General is partly offended by it. You see those men were not in uniform and were just normal citizens that could come and go as they please (as stated by Gibson during the movie, which doesn't make it fact though).

Anyways, I found this on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia#United_States

Now you can't believe everything on Wiki, but some of it is pretty good. I was reading this article and came across this:

The first legislation on the subject was The Militia Act of 1792 which provided, in part:

That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, ... every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock....
So if I'm reading this right when I turned eighteen years old back then I HAD to have a firearm within six-months of turning "of age" or else... Wouldn't that still be in effect? Well, read on and there were two more acts that did a little more, but basically I didn't find anything that struck that law down. So are we breaking the law by not having a firearm within those first six-months of becoming of age?
 

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Outsider said:
So if I'm reading this right when I turned eighteen years old back then I HAD to have a firearm within six-months of turning "of age" or else... Wouldn't that still be in effect? Well, read on and there were two more acts that did a little more, but basically I didn't find anything that struck that law down. So are we breaking the law by not having a firearm within those first six-months of becoming of age?
As I understand it, the Militia Act of 1903 didn't amend the previous acts, it replaced them. It divided the state militias into the "organized militia", which is called the National Guard, and the "unorganized militia", which consists of every able-bodied male citizen between 17 and 45 who is not a member of the National Guard. It required that the National Guard be equipped according to regular Army standards and specified standards for training, but established no requirements for equipping or training the unorganized militia.

Title 10, Subtitle A, Part 1, Chapter 13 of the US Code is the current state of the law describing militias in the US.
 

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Here are the excerpts of the Utah State Constitution as regards Militia:

These are found through this link; http://www.livepublish.le.state.ut.us/l ... -j.htm&2.0

1 100 Constitution Article 15 -- Militia
2 100 Title 39 -- Militia and Armories
3 100 39-1-2 Militia divided into two parts.
4 100 Title 39 Chapter 01 -- State Militia
5 94 39-1-10 Unorganized militia in service, how governed.
6 94 39-1-7 Muster of unorganized militia.
7 94 Article IV, Section 4 [Voters -- Immunity from militia duty.]
8 89 39-1-5 Governor may call guard into active service -- Authority.
9 89 39-1-8 Governor may proclaim martial law.
10 83 39-1-1 Militia -- How constituted -- Persons exempted.
11 83 67-1-5 Commissioning officers.
12 83 Article XV, Section 1 [How constituted.]
13 78 Article XV, Section 2 [Organization and equipment.]
14 78 71-3-1 Use of armories by veterans' organizations permitted.
15 78 Article VII, Section 4 [Governor commander-in-chief.]
16 78 39-1-3 Governor commander in chief -- Powers and duties.
17 72 39-1-37 Military duties.
18 72 Article VI, Section 6 [Who ineligible as legislator.]
19 72 39-1-4 Staff of commander in chief.
20 67 39-1-27 Bonds of accountable officers.
21 67 39-1-60 Laws and regulations of United States control.
22 67 39-4-1 Governor authorized to organize Utah State Defense Force.
23 61 39-6-3 Persons subject to chapter.
24 61 39-6-16 Military court -- Jurisdiction.
25 50 39-6-2 Definitions.

Hopefully I posted this right so it iseasy to find. As you can see it goes through a fair bit of information as regards militia in the state.
 

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swillden said:
Outsider said:
So if I'm reading this right when I turned eighteen years old back then I HAD to have a firearm within six-months of turning "of age" or else... Wouldn't that still be in effect? Well, read on and there were two more acts that did a little more, but basically I didn't find anything that struck that law down. So are we breaking the law by not having a firearm within those first six-months of becoming of age?
As I understand it, the Militia Act of 1903 didn't amend the previous acts, it replaced them. It divided the state militias into the "organized militia", which is called the National Guard, and the "unorganized militia", which consists of every able-bodied male citizen between 17 and 45 who is not a member of the National Guard. It required that the National Guard be equipped according to regular Army standards and specified standards for training, but established no requirements for equipping or training the unorganized militia.

Title 10, Subtitle A, Part 1, Chapter 13 of the US Code is the current state of the law describing militias in the US.
What? I thought the militia was suppose to be void of federal authority - that was the whole point of it...
 

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L'attente said:
What? I thought the militia was suppose to be void of federal authority - that was the whole point of it...
Not exactly.

The founders didn't envision the militias as a tool to counter federal power, because they didn't give the federal government much power. Many of them abhorred the idea of any sort of standing army (navies were okay), but they recognized the need for a national defense capability. Since the revolution was won by an army whose core was state militias, they intended to use the same approach for national defense. Every able-bodied man was considered to be a member of the militia, and states were directed to organize the militias, somewhat. In addition to that, the Constitution grants Congress the power to raise armies, but for no more than two years, and the assumption was that this would basically just be a way to pay the militias when they were needed for long-term operations.

The militias were expected to be a check against tyranny, not by their presence to fight the federal government but since they were volunteers, under the direction of state-appointed officers, and since they were the primary military force available to the federal government, they were expected to resist tyranny simply by refusing to enforce it, and by being available to stop any government officials who disobeyed the law.
 

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Man, I really need to study up on this stuff.

It seems like the things I thought I knew, are wrong or I learned them wrong. How are my kids suppose to understand the Constitution, if I don't even understand it?

Thanks for the info!
 
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