First volunteers for citizen border militia to be
By Ignacio Ibarra
© 2002 Arizona Daily Star
The leader of Tombstone's citizens militia says the
organization intends to conduct its operations on
public lands, have members apply to carry concealed
weapons and will patrol routes leading to water
stations established by humanitarian groups.
"We're stepping on to public lands, and I dare the
government to come and arrest 50 people," said Chris
Simcox, owner of the Tombstone Tumbleweed, and
organizer of a citizens militia he now calls the Civil
Homeland Defense Force.
Simcox said the adjustment in patrol strategy was
forced by the "tremendous pressure" from the media and
government officials that caused property owners to
back away from cooperation with his organization.
Despite the growing pressure, Simcox said he intends
to "keep the flame burning on high until the federal
government puts troops on the border."
On Saturday the first 50 of more than 600 volunteers
will be inducted and begin a course of training that
includes qualification for a state issued concealed
weapons permit, he said.
"We're going to use the government to screen our
volunteers. Everyone who comes will have to get a
concealed weapons permit and will have to go through
that screening . . . a felony background check and an
FBI check," Simcox said.
The initial strategy will be to conduct patrols in the
areas where humanitarian water stations and beacons
have been established by groups hoping to aid illegal
border crossers on their dangerous journey.
Illegal border crossers whom the militia encounters
would be placed under citizen's arrest and turned over
to the Border Patrol.