Texas County Shuts Down Militia’s Hope Of Becoming its Official ‘Military Force’

A southeast Texas county on Tuesday put the kibosh on a resolution that would’ve made it the first in the Lone Star State to designate a county militia.

David W. Smith, the leader of a group called the Golden Triangle Militia, has been working toward getting Orange County to recognize his group for about a year and a half. He told TPM in an interview last week that Texas law already enshrines his group’s right to exist as part of the state’s military forces, but he wanted the Orange County Commissioner’s Court to follow the law and formally recognize the Golden Triangle Militia so that its members could lend a hand as needed.

The Commissioner’s Court tabled a resolution to recognize the Golden Triangle Militia as the county militia last week, after one commissioner raised questions about the group’s vetting process. The commissioners revisited the resolution at a meeting Tuesday and passed a measure thanking volunteer groups for serving the county instead of recognizing the Golden Triangle Militia, according to local news station KBMT.

County Judge Brint Carlton said in the meeting that “the county, by way of this resolution, had no intention and still has no intention of creating a militia,” according to KBMT. The judge added that the county has “what we need as far as security or law enforcement measure.”

Smith saw a ray of sunshine in the decision, however. He told TPM in an email that Carlton “publicly announced the Reserve Militia exists and the County has all authority to call the Reserve Militia into duty.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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