Maine Governor Signs Bill Restricting Paramilitary Training in Response to Neo-Nazi Plan

Maine Governor Signs Bill Restricting Paramilitary Training in Response to Neo-Nazi Plan

Opinion Editorial: Paramilitary Training Limits in Maine

Paramilitary Training Limits in Maine: Promoting Civil Order and Protecting Constitutional Rights

In response to a neo-Nazi’s attempt to create a training center for a “blood tribe” in Maine, the state has taken steps to restrict paramilitary training through a new law signed by Democratic Governor Janet Mills. The law allows the attorney general to seek a court injunction to stop such efforts and to press charges carrying penalties of up to a year in jail.

Promoting Civil Order

The Maine law aims to prevent the establishment of shadow military forces that could spark civil disorder. Christopher Pohlhaus, a prominent neo-Nazi and white supremacist, sought to set up a training center, but ultimately sold the property before executing the plan. The new law seeks to address concerns that such efforts may lead to the creation of militias that may not respect civilian leaders.

Protecting Constitutional Rights

While some critics argue that the new law could impede on constitutional rights, proponents have defended that it seeks to prevent the misuse of military training to sow civil disruption. Attorney General Aaron Frey notes that the Maine Constitution already prohibits militias that fail to follow civilian leadership. However, this applies specifically to groups that parade publicly with guns or wear clothing resembling military uniforms. Before the Maine law, the attorney general lacked adequate legal tools to bring charges against individuals or groups that employ military training to promote civil disorder.

Comparison with Vermont Law

Vermont last year passed a similar law that bans people from owning or operating paramilitary training camps. The law arose in response to the creation of a firearms training facility, built without necessary permits, that had become a nuisance to neighbors. Unlike the Maine law, the Vermont legislation prohibits teaching, training, or demonstrating the making or use of firearms, explosives, or incendiary devices for purposes of promoting civil disorder. Penalties for violating the law include up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both.


The new law in Maine attempts to ensure that military training is not misused to promote civil unrest. By granting the attorney general legal power, the state is better placed to prevent the establishment of shadow military forces that may disrespect civilian leadership. While concerns regarding constitutional rights exist, the law focuses on targeting specific conduct that poses a clear and present danger. Such measures help promote civil order and protect constitutional rights rather than undermine them.

Keywords for Further Reading

  • Paramilitary training in Maine
  • Militias and civil disorder
  • Constitutional rights and public safety

Originally Post From

Read more about this topic at
Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and …
Maine governor signs bill restricting paramilitary training in …

Iowa Urges State Supreme Court to Implement Strict Abortion Law

Buffalo Man Charged with Criminal Sexual Act in Geneseo