Michigan Township Creates Militia to Defend Right to Bear Arms

Half of Michigan’s 83 county governments have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuary counties.
Michigan Township Creates Militia to Defend Right to Bear Arms
The Holton Township Hall, formerly a United Methodist church, in Holton Township, Mich., on Nov. 27, 2023. (Courtesy of Holton Township)
Steven Kovac

Citing possible “political targeting” under a new state gun confiscation law, the board of Holton Township, Michigan, adopted a resolution creating a voluntary community militia dedicated to preserving the constitutional right to bear arms.

The resolution by the Republican-majority board also declared Holton Township a “Second Amendment Sanctuary Community” in which unconstitutional laws controlling firearms wouldn’t be recognized.

Half of Michigan’s 83 county governments have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuary counties.

Holton’s resolution protects the lawful purchase and possession of all firearms, including semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic pistols, accessories, ammunition, and body armor, that are legal under existing federal law.

According to Holton Township Supervisor Alan Jager, a Republican, the political targeting could presumably occur through the unfair enforcement of Michigan’s recently passed ‘Red Flag’ law.

Under the statute, a law enforcement officer or other specified parties, such as mental health professionals, family members, friends, or neighbors, could request a judge to order the confiscation of all firearms from an individual whom the court finds to be a potential violent threat to himself or others.

The temporary precautionary action, which may last for one year or more, can be initiated on the word of a single complainant.

A judge is required by law to make a determination within 24 hours of receiving the complaint. Within 14 days, a hearing must be set to allow the suspect to prove that he isn’t a threat to anyone and thus have his firearms returned.

Some Michigan sheriffs have said that they won’t enforce such a law, according to the Associated Press.

“An ex-girlfriend could file a complaint against a person out of spite. So could someone that disagreed with your political views,” Mr. Jager said in a Nov. 24 interview with The Epoch Times.

In an effort to reduce gun violence, more than 20 states and the District of Columbia have adopted some version of what’s called the “extreme risk protection order,” commonly called Red Flag laws.

An Associated Press analysis discovered that since 2020, governments have, under the authority of the protection order, seized individuals’ firearms 15,049 times.

Concern Over Mass Shooters

“For those who are in law enforcement who refuse to enforce these important orders ... I will make certain that I find someone with jurisdiction who will,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said shortly after the Michigan Red Flag bill was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat.

Ms. Whitmer said in a statement: “We have heard too many times from those who knew a mass shooter who had expressed concern in advance about that mass shooter’s intentions. With extreme risk protection orders, we have a mechanism to step in and save lives.”

Mr. Jager likened the new Michigan law to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was created to protect national security but ultimately was abused by government officials to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

Gun rights activists gather for a rally at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 23, 2021. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Gun rights activists gather for a rally at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 23, 2021. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“The victims of the FISA Court abuses were American citizens who did nothing wrong,” he said.

“If you think our own government wouldn’t misuse the Red Flag law to target you, just look at what they are doing to President Trump.”

According to Mr. Jager, most of his Republican colleagues on the board felt that a powerfully worded resolution alone wasn’t enough to get the point across that the right to bear arms and the right to self-defense are “unalienable.”

The lone Democrat on the five-member township board was away on an excused absence and didn’t vote on the resolution.

The Republican majority also resolved to not acknowledge any new regulations pertaining to open or concealed carry.

“We took the extra step of creating a militia dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment and all of our other constitutional rights,” Mr. Jager said.

“But don’t expect to see our people patrolling through our towns carrying guns. That’s not what this is all about.”

No ‘Right to Take Violence’

A section of the resolution reads, “This policy does not give any member the right to take violence into their own hands or act above the law in any way.”

The township opened the militia to all legal residents of the community. A member must be at least 18 years old and pass a federal firearms background check.

The resolution says that all a qualified person needs to do to enlist in the Holton Township Militia is to state openly on social media or by a letter to friends and/or family that he or she wants to be a member.

Mr. Jager said the main reason for creating the militia is to help bolster the legal standing of gun owners who might end up in court challenging further firearms restrictions that they regard as unconstitutional.

He told The Epoch Times that another reason for creating the militia was to draw attention to the gradual infringement of Second Amendment rights through gun control bills such as the Red Flag law.

“On that score, we have been very successful. Ever since we passed the resolution, my phone has been ringing off the hook. We hope other communities will take a similar stand,” Mr. Jager said.

“The odd thing is, I’m not really a gun enthusiast. I just have a couple of old shotguns. I’m doing this more to protect other gun owners’ rights.”

The Second Amendment in its entirety reads: “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.”

When asked if he feared that the state and federal government may retaliate against him for his activism, Mr. Jager said: “I am not afraid, though I know the government could beat up this little township of 1,900 people in a heartbeat.

“This taking things without giving much chance to defend your rights is wrong and can be easily abused. We are trying to uphold due process for everyone.”

Steven Kovac reports for The Epoch Times from Michigan. He is a general news reporter who has covered topics related to rising consumer prices to election security issues. He can be reached at [email protected]
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