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The U. S. Constitution | The Bill of Rights | Amendments 11-27

The Regulated Militia | Militia Act of May 2 | Militia Act of May 8 | Militia Act of 1903 | Gun Rights

The argument of the government restricting gun ownership through a regulated militia is, put simply, manipulative. What's the purpose of the Militia? To supplement the military in time of war or insurrection. That's not possible if the people are unarmed. What about the definition of the Militia? It doesn't include young men under 18 yrs old, men over 44 yrs old, or women.

The original Militia Act 0f May 8, 1792:

"That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the 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"... The Militia Act Of May 8, 1792

The current definition of the militia, defined by the Militia Act of 1903, before amendments(female military officers and former military men up to age 64):

"every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age" The Militia Act Of 1903

Here is the U S Code defining the Militia today, a downloadable document from the U S House Of Representatives, which cites the statutes and revisions that define the militia today.

Today, according to federal law, teenagers, non-military men over 45, and women, are not part of the militia, and therefore can't have their guns regulated , even if the "regulated militia" argument applies.

To clarify the relationship between the earlier militia acts and the most recent one, the Militia Act of 1903 did NOT repeal the Act of 1792, it only repealed some specific sections.

In order to clarify the intent of the founders, let's look at the specific wording in the original Militia Act. The Militia Act Of May 8, 1792, Section 1 actually required militia members to keep military-style weapons of the era, along with sufficient ammunition:

"That every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack"

The Act also states:

"And every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits..."

According to this section of federal law, gun control advocates who encourage lawsuits against gun owners advocate violating the law. Although the language is archaic, it's clear that those who were required to own weapons should be free from the fear of lawsuits. Our representatives who try to make gun owners legally liable for gun use advocate violating the law AND the intent of the law.