During an appearance on Fox News, Perry defended the armed groups that have camped out in Bunkerville, Nev. this month to show solidarity with defiant rancher Cliven Bundy, who has refused to pay $1 million in cattle grazing fees that he owes the federal government.
When host Stuart Varney asked the governor if he objects to "guys with guns getting together and opposing federal force," Perry brought up what he described as the "bigger issue."
"I have a problem with the federal government putting citizens in the position of having to feel like they have to use force to deal with their own government. That's the bigger issue," Perry told Varney.
"And that's the reason I think that the Bureau of Land Management needs to be really careful about coming — whether it's Nevada or Texas or Oklahoma or whatever state it might be — and acting like private property is something that they control and that they are going to be able to make the decision about who this belongs to."
"We're a rule of law country and private property is at the base of it," Perry continued. "And unless the federal government respects that, then I'll suggest to you that they are the ones instigating the opportunity for misfortune to happen."
Perry was applying the same logic as Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R), who also supports the militias at Bundy Ranch.
"Don't come here with guns and expect the American people not to fire back," Fiore said last week.