'Able-bodied' militia may be expanded in Arizona to include older citizens - East Valley Tribune: Politics

'Able-bodied' militia may be expanded in Arizona to include older citizens

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Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 7:13 pm

Older Arizonans may soon be able to join the state militia -- to the extent it really exists.

Current state law spells out the militia consists of ``all able-bodied citizens of the state'' between the ages of 18 and 45. That includes the national guard, inactive guard members and the ``unorganized militia'' which consists of everyone else.

HB 2433 would allow those who are 45 and older to also be considered part of that unorganized militia.

Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix, conceded that the state has never called up this unorganized militia. But he said this would permit -- but not require -- older Arizonans to serve if it was ever activated.

Still, not everyone would be eligible.

Seel's measure, approved on a 36-21 vote, leaves intact existing exemptions for judges, elected officials, ministers of the gospel and ``idiots, lunatics, totally blind persons and persons convicted of infamous crimes.''

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