VERONA — Despite requests from Augusta County residents, the board of supervisors declined to form an unorganized militia after receiving legal advice on the matter.
At the board’s last meeting on Feb. 12, several community members pleaded for the unorganized militia’s creation to assist in the event of an emergency. The militia resolution proposed also would have protected militia members against proposed gun laws this legislative session.
An online petition for the militia in Augusta County received nearly 200 signatures.
At its meeting on Wednesday, Augusta County board chairman Gerald Garber read a statement on behalf of the board and it’s decision to not form an unorganized militia in Augusta County. The decision stemmed from legal advice on Virginia Code section 44-1 which states an unorganized militia is to be organized by the governor.
“The Augusta County Board of Supervisors recognize the request of some of its citizens to form an unorganized militia. The authority of which organization and operation of an unorganized militia rests with the governor,” the board’s statement read. “We support and applaud the civic-minded aspirations of our citizens, and encourage them to volunteer with the many local service organizations that exist to provide community services such as first-aid, food and medical supply delivery. We appreciate the engagement of our citizens in the civic process and their expression of commitment to Augusta County.”
Counties around the Commonwealth are making similar requests for an unorganized militia. Over the weekend, more than 100 residents of Pittsylvania and Halifax counties held a militia muster.
Neighboring supervisors in Rockingham County also rejected an unorganized militia request, citing the same Virginia code section.