HELENA — A Republican legislator from Havre wants to create an armed paramilitary group made up of volunteers called the home guard.
House Bill 278 sponsored by Rep. Wendy Warburton would allow citizens to organize military-like companies that would answer to the governor and sheriffs during emergencies.
Warburton says the home guard would provide fast response services not available during emergencies in the past.
The House State Administration committee held a hearing on the bill on Friday. The measure drew opposition from a Montana Human Rights Network representative who says it could be abused by anti-government extremists.
The home guard would not be subject to federal oversight and a company could only be recognized if certified by the governor.