‘Militia … not a scary term,’ says commander of Bedford County Militia at its second annual muster

'Militia ... not a scary term,' says commander of Bedford County Militia at its second annual muster

Members of the Bedford County Militia stand in formation as the self-styled company gathered for a muster and membership drive in Montvale on Saturday. MONTVALE — The Bedford County Militia held its second annual muster on Saturday, inviting new members to join its ranks. The Bedford County Militia was formed in February 2020 in response to proposed gun legislation, including a bill that would have banned the sale or transfer of assault weapons and the possession of certain capacity magazines. Similar efforts were underway in a number of localities last year, including Franklin, Floyd and Campbell counties. Militias in Bedford and Campbell counties were formally recognized by their respective boards of supervisors. In May, Attorney General Mark Herring called for federal resources to “combat the threat of militia extremism in Virginia and around the country.” In a letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Herring touched on Virginia’s experience with such groups, mentioning the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville and the 2020 Gun Lobby Day in Richmond. “And most frightening of all, some sheriffs and municipal governments are building relationships and even attempting to give official recognition or endorsement to unorganized, unaccountable, heavily-armed, self-styled militias that answer to absolutely no one,” Herring wrote. Jonathan Falls, commander of the Bedford County Militia, said over the last year members have been working to build the organization and change the way people think about militias. The group was incorporated earlier this year as a non-stock, nonprofit corporation. […]

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