Militiaman: Law prevents him from helping citizens
Appeal Staff Writer
Robert Schultz Jr. loves his country and his fellow Americans. He served in the military, has been a volunteer fireman, and worked to form a volunteer group designed to help agencies in times of crisis.
Now, he says, a state law is preventing that group from training to provide assistance when the United States or Nevada might need help.
Until recently, Schultz, 26, of Carson City, was the commanding officer of the Nevada Volunteer Militia, a private organization whose purpose is to train and prepare to aid local and state agencies in a variety of areas.
The group’s 12 members and four reserves participated in winter survival, communications and medical training.
“We were trying to be here to help fellow citizens and government agencies at all levels wherever they need us. We were not there to blow up buildings or start violence,” Schultz said.
He said the group is entirely self-sufficient, with its own communication systems, survival gear and medical supplies.
“We can do triage, we can do communications and help with civil disobedience,” Schultz said. “We can be self sufficient in the field for a month.”
The militia, according to Schultz, accommodates people who want to serve their fellow citizens, but are unable to join the military or National Guard.
But the group recently became inactive after a state law was discovered that prevents unorganized militias, like the Nevada Volunteer Militia, from carrying firearms, which Schultz said is an important part of the training.
“It’s not just a search-and-rescue organization. We are here if there is a civil disobedience. We are here to protect our fellow citizens, and to do that sometimes you need to carry weapons,” Schultz said. “We might come to a point where we need to protect ourselves. In a mass terrorist attack, people become desperate, and we need to be able to protect ourselves.”
While the group is on inactive status, Schultz is looking for ways to allow it to continue to prepare, including writing a letter to Gov. Kenny Guinn asking permission to continue and fighting the no-guns law in court as unconstitutional.
“The (federal) Constitution allows that every citizen is a member of the militia. It is violating our freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and right to bear arms,” Schultz said.
According to a Nevada statute, “It shall be unlawful for any body of men other than municipal police, university or public school cadets or companies, militia of the State or troops of the United States, to associate themselves together as a military company with arms without the consent of the Governor. Every person who shall associate with others in violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Schultz said that for now the group is training without firearms.
“My priority is to my men, and I don’t want them to go to jail,” he said.
Schultz said he understands that the group may be forced to train permanently without weapons, but he hopes it never gets that far.
“It may get there, and we will live with that. But we hope it doesn’t happen,” Schultz said.