Has Florida Outlawed Well Regulated Militias?

Despite not being an open carry state, nor its moderately high cost of a CCW, Florida is not known for being a hotbed of Gun Control fever.  That is why I was so surprised to hear about Florida Statute 790.29.  The statute expressly prohibits paramilitary training; teaching or participation.  Basically anything that could very loosely be described as a militia. I heard about it because a man was facing 30 years because he violated it.

Here’s the statute in it’s entirety:

790.29 Paramilitary training; teaching or participation prohibited.

(1) This act shall be known and may be cited as the “State Anti-paramilitary Training Act.”

(2) As used in this section, the term “civil disorder” means a public disturbance involving acts of violence by an assemblage of three or more persons, which disturbance causes an immediate danger of, or results in, damage or injury to the property or person of any other individual within the United States.

(3)(a) Whoever teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, destructive device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder within the United States, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) Whoever assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, destructive device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to unlawfully employ the same for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder within the United States, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit any act of a law enforcement officer which is performed in connection with the lawful performance of his or her official duties or to prohibit the training or teaching of the use of weapons to be used for hunting, recreation, competition, self-defense or the protection of one’s person or property, or other lawful use.

While this statute may have been written with the best of intentions aimed at home grown terrorists, yet as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  The reality is that the statute is written in such a way that anyone who teaches 2 or more people how to shoot a firearm or how to do hand to hand self defense could be guilty of leading a militia.

I mean, think about it.  I, and many other 2nd Amendment advocates view the right to keep and bear arms as the last line of defense against tyranny.  That right there could be construed to mean that any training that my friends and I do ultimately is done to defend against tyranny, what a tyrant might call “civil disorder.”

This statute in fact, goes DIRECTLY against the Founding Fathers intent.  Because even most gun controllers at the very least try to deny individual citizens the right to keep and bear arms by saying it is a right of a well regulated militia.  A right that this statute categorically denies.  For clarity, “well regulated” as it meant in the 1700’s was to be ready with limited notice.  As in the militia were trained and their weapons were in operable condition.  Regulations as they term stands now was not present during the writing of the Bill of Rights.

So in truth, the 2nd Amendment first part about a well regulated militia is directly attacked by this Florida statute.

And did you notice part 4?  How it conveniently ensures that the government can freely militarize its own police force?  If you have a problem with paramilitary forces roaming the streets, states around the country should take a hard look at what their police departments are becoming.

But let’s take a look at what brought this to my attention.

Apparently some allegedly racist  white supremacist named Marcus Faella, was sentenced for two counts of the “crime” of “paramilitary training.” The sentence he must serve is six months in prison–vastly less than the 30 years he might have received.

If Faella was a white supremacist then that’s a disgusting narrow minded viewpoint and he and his white supremacist buddies have a twisted outlook on the world.  The same goes for black supremacists.  But unless he actually acted upon his alleged racism to hurt someone it does not–cannot, in a free society–make him a criminal.  In a free society where we have the liberty to think and feel as we wish, we must accept that some people think and feel with hatred and ugliness.  So long as they do not violently act upon it though, it is their RIGHT to be bigots.

This is where things get scary on a justice level.

Prosecutors told the jurors that they didn’t have to prove a specific plan, just show the group was doing the training for some sort of civil disorder.

The problem with that, is that by that logic anyone who believes that the 2nd Amendment’s intention is to prohibit government tyranny is guilty.  My cold dead hands, bullets first, etc are thoughts that aren’t a specific plan but rather a declaration of intent of civil disorder should the circumstance arrive.

The prosecutors in Florida are basically saying that should a few like minded people go target shooting or take a karate class together then they are all guilty of violating the paramilitary prohibition and as such will face a 30 year jail sentence.

This is un-American and unacceptable.  This type of tyranny is WHY we have a need for militia in the first place.  Floridians need to voice their disfavor with Statute 790.29 and have it repealed.  Lest the next time they come for someone its not an easy target like an alleged white supremacist but rather you and a could of your shooting buddies.

One final though…the Boston Tea Party was an act of civil disorder.  Those are the FOUNDERS of this country.  How do you think they would view this Florida Statute?



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