Rumor Mill: Executive Action to Define and Protect Militia Suitable Rifles




But seen on Ammoland


By the authority vested in me as President and Commander in Chief of the Militia by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to ensure the ability of citizens of the United States to defend themselves, their communities and their States, as well as to ensure the safety and security of our Nation, I hereby order as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. Both individual and community safety are critically important to the national security of the United States. Terrorism, transnational criminal activity and potential acts of war by foreign nations present a significant threat to national security and our citizens, who have the right and the duty to defend themselves, their communities, their States and the Nation.

Section 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to:

(a) Support and defend the Constitution, including the Second Amendment right of citizens to keep and bear arms for Militia purposes, as well as self-defense.
(b) Encourage citizens to be prepared to act as members of the Militia to defend communities, States and the Nation, as part of the common defense contemplated by the Constitution of the United States.
(c) Discourage restrictions by States and political subdivisions on individual possession of firearms suitable for Militia purposes by citizens of the United States.

Section 3. Definitions.
(a) “Militia” has the meaning given the term in Title 10, Section 311 of the United States Code to include the Unorganized Militia, as well as the meaning given to the term “Militia” under equivalent State statutes.
(b) “Self-Defense” shall mean the actions of citizens to defend themselves and their families from physical attack.
(c) “Communities” shall mean neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties and other political subdivisions of citizens who live in distinct geographic areas within a State.
(d) “State” shall mean one of the fifty States of the United States.
(e) “Militia Purposes” shall mean training, practice and preparedness which could improve the ability of a citizen to act, and to be armed in case of a need to act, as a current or future member of a local, State or National organization commanded by government officials and responsive to a physical threat. Appropriate organizations include those commanded by an elected county or city Sheriff; those commanded by the Governor of a State through officers of that State’s Defense Force as authorized by Title 30, Section 109 of the United States Code, or through officers of that State’s National Guard; and organizations commanded by the President through officers of the Active or Reserve components of U.S. Armed Forces.
(f) “Militia Rifles” shall mean the firearms designated in Section 4 that are made in America and suitable for use in self-defense, community defense, defense of States and defense of the Nation.

Section 4. Designation of Militia Rifles. That the following firearms and accessories are authorized and appropriate for individual citizens to keep and bear for Militia purposes under the Constitution and the laws of the United States:
(a) The AR-15 and similar semi-automatic rifles, to include flash suppressors and bayonet lugs, magazines of up to thirty round capacities, M-7 bayonets, and ammunition in 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington, in all quantities.
(b) The M1A and similar semi-automatic rifles, to include flash suppressors and bayonet lugs, magazines of up to twenty round capacities, M-6 bayonets, and ammunition in 7.62 NATO or .308 Winchester, in all quantities.
(c) The M1 Garand and similar semi-automatic rifles, to include flash suppressors and bayonet lugs, M-5 bayonets, and ammunition in .30-’06 Springfield, in all quantities.
(d) Bolt action rifles in the calibers of .30-’06 Springfield; 7.62 NATO or .308 Winchester; 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington; or any substantially equivalent caliber, and ammunition appropriate for the rifles, in any quantity.
(This list could easily be expanded or replaced by a broad definition.)

Section 5. Pre-emption. This Executive Order is intended to pre-empt the laws of States or political subdivisions that infringe upon the rights of citizens to keep and bear the arms designated in Section 4.

Section 6. Judicial Notice. That the judges of all State and Federal Courts are hereby given notice that possession of the designated Militia Rifles and accessories by citizens should not be restricted or infringed upon by State laws or the laws of a political subdivision of a State and any such law should be reviewed under the strict scrutiny standard to determine whether it is a violation of the Constitution of the United States after judicial consideration of this Order and the fact that it was issued by the Commander in Chief of the Militia.

That is the speculative proposed wording of an order to protect certain arms the Commander in Chief, President Trump, considers Militia suitable to garner them stronger protections under the Second Amendment.

The order has strong points and weak points to its design that I want to highlight.

Section 1.

Affirms the concept of the “Whole People” being the Militia.

Section 2.

Affirms the current administrations support for the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Second Amendment, and encourages the personal exercise of responsibility under it. It also calls out States that have highly restrictive laws and this seems to be most directly a result of the 4th Circuit ruling toward Maryland on their Assault Weapons Ban.

Section 3.


Section 4.

Lists the “Militia Rifles” under Definition (f) from Section 3. AR15,  M1A, M1 Garand, “and similar rifles” as well as listing 5.56x45mm/.223 Remington ammunition, 7.62x51mm/.308 Winchester ammunition, and 30-06 ammunition. Also listed are bolt action rifles in those calibers.

Section 5.

Preemption, this EO is designed to directly dismantle state Assault Weapon Bans to a degree by cutting down most of the legal language listing these rifles as dangerous and/or unusual and classifying them as suitable.

Section 6.

Judicial notice is given to the state and federal courts to give credence to the preemption.

I want to emphasize again this is entirely speculative.

If implemented there would be several positive results. The most prominent are the legal challenges set to occur if the order were published and signed. Those gains would be substantial for the second amendment in several states.

But there are weaknesses and detriments to the order also and we need to highlight those to address, correct, improve, or remove them.

  • This is an EO, it can be rescinded by a new President or by the current one at will. It is not law and may create unexpected or unforeseen changes in the laws of the nation and various states. Because of the naming of specific firearms I see a patchwork ban and non ban list similar to Canada ‘s laws being feasible. For example is the SCAR17 similar enough to an AR15 or the M1A is it or is it not a “Militia Rifle” based on definitions. Based on my reading I’d say no it isn’t, despite it being a US service rifle.
  • Definitions and language. “and similar rifles” is vague and holds no meaning until someone gives it parameters. What those parameters will be is unknown and no guidance is provided. Will it be any semi auto firearm that can meet a caliber/capacity requirement or within given parameters meet requirements? Will it be up to states do decide exceptions or additions. Framework is necessary
  • Caliber listings. Seems to exclude less popular but still effective rounds even in named platforms. .300 AAC Blackout/7.62×35, 6.8x43mm SPC, 7.62x39mm. All pistol caliber carbines are also unlisted.
  • Made in America. This could end up excluding any 922r converted firearms even if they are suitable mechanically from all stand points
  • Preemption. An EO is not a law and the influence this could have or the impact is largely unknown
  • Judicial Notice. Again like the Preemption this is not law, its impact and scope of influence are largely unknown. The EO is kind of a sternly worded note…

I also want people to be expressly aware of repercussions. The wording of this gives ample opportunity for state and national legislatures to chase after greater restrictions non protected firearms with the full notice that the Trump administration, the Commander-in-Chief himself, does not believe they suit the requirements.

Food for thought guys. Carry on.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.