We soon filed suit on behalf of the City of Charlottesville, downtown businesses, and neighborhood associations seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent a recurrence of such dangerous privatized use of force.

We prevailed, securing court orders prohibiting a range of groups and individuals from returning to Charlottesville as, in essence, rogue armies. The success in court underscored the importance of adopting a litigation approach grounded in law enforcement sensibilities but ultimately aimed at restoring to the public square the capacity for genuine advocacy and the peaceful exchange of ideas.

ICAP has released a 50 State Catalog of laws prohibiting private armies at public rallies as well as a toolkit discussing legal principles, best practices, and creative solutions upon which local jurisdictions may draw to protect public safety while respecting constitutional rights during rallies, protests, and other public events.

ICAP has recently partnered with Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez to file a civil suit against the New Mexico Civil Guard for its actions during a protest at the statue of Spanish conquistador, Juan de Oñate, in Albuquerque, challenging the group as violating New Mexico state law against unlawful paramilitary and law enforcement activity.

Our Work

  • 7/29/20 – Held a launch event for our toolkit discussing legal principles, best practices, and creative solutions upon which local jurisdictions may draw to protect public safety while respecting constitutional rights during rallies, protests, and other public events
  • 7/28/20 – Sent a letter to local officials in response to private paramilitary activity in Louisville, Kentucky, advising of applicable state law provisions against such activity
  • 6/25/20 – Sent a letter to local officials in response to private paramilitary activity in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, advising of applicable state law provisions against such activity
  • 6/19/20 – Sent a letter to local officials in response to private paramilitary activity in Bonner County, Idaho, advising of applicable state law provisions against such activity
  • 6/18/20 – Sent a letter to local officials in response to private paramilitary activity in Campbell County, Virginia, advising of applicable state law provisions against such activity
  • 6/17/20 – Sent letters to local officials in response to private paramilitary activity in Bedford County and Appomattox County, Virginia, advising of applicable state law provisions against such activity
  • 6/11/20 – Sent a letter to local officials in response to private paramilitary activity in Altavista, Virginia, advising of applicable state law provisions against such activity
  • 1/8/20 – Published an op-ed laying out the reasons why a recent movement by local governments to declare themselves Second Amendment “sanctuaries” is legally dubious
  • 10/2/19 – Published an op-ed calling attention to militia groups emboldened by the president’s statements and in violation of state and federal laws
  • 8/18/19 – Published an op-ed describing how state and federal law prohibits private militias from operating outside of state authority
  • 7/1/19 – Published an op-ed highlighting how federal law prohibits private militias from assuming the duty of Border Patrol officers
  • 1/2/19 – Published an op-ed outlining how local jurisdictions can protect public safety at protests and rallies while preserving constitutional rights
  • 11/12/18 – Submitted a statement supporting a proposed Portland, Oregon, ordinance authorizing content-neutral time, place, and manner regulations for demonstrations held in the city
  • 11/7/18 – Published an op-ed calling on border state governors to use their state laws to stop the private militias from deploying to the border to “assist” the U.S. military and Customs and Border Patrol
  • 8/10/18 – Published an op-ed in the Washington Post with the former mayor of Charlottesville explaining how local jurisdictions around the country can use existing constitutional provisions and state laws to prevent unauthorized paramilitary activity
  • 8/9/18 – Filed an expert declaration identifying threats to national security, law enforcement, and foreign policy posed by widespread availability of code for 3D-printed guns
  • 2/8/18 – Released a 50 State Catalog of laws prohibiting private armies at public rallies