Know Your Rights Under Martial Law

Martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory.

While Martial Law is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the suspension of habeas corpus is mentioned, which basically explains the idea behind one of the main consequences of martial law: the suspension of your right not to be held against your will without just cause. In the normal function of everyday law and order, it is unconstitutional to be held against your will without good cause. In the normal context of law and order to legally arrest you and put you in jail, the courts must issue what is called a “writ of habeas\corpus” – which requires those who are holding you to provide the court with a necessary reason for doing so. If Martial Law is implemented, habeas corpus is suspended and you’re basically left at the mercy of Military Justice.

This means that if you are deemed a “threat to the government” or a “terrorist” for any reason, you can be arrested and held for an indefinite period of time. And act as simple as disobedience to a commanding military officer, or any other act that is deemed belligerent subjects you to arrest and physical detention via the rule of law under the military.

In Martial Law, the military becomes the ruling authority and will act as law enforcement police, the courts, and the acting legislature. What remains the same, however, is that the President remains commander in chief of the military and it has even been argued that the President himself can decide to declare martial law. One example of this scenario is often used we discuss the time President Lincoln declared Martial Law during the Civil War.

President Abraham Lincoln took the step of declaring martial law and suspending civil liberties, including the right of habeas corpus, in Maryland after a riot and subsequent destruction of transportation systems in April 1861. Lincoln imposed the martial law on Maryland because he wanted Maryland to stay with the union. a battle that was fought at a place called Manassas and the south won.

What Survival Secret We Lost To History

The most important thing to remember is that of all the freedoms and civil liberties we take for granted today as part of the Bill of Rights, the utmost significance of habeas corpus is demonstrated by the fact that it was the one and only liberty thought to be important enough to be included in the first writing of the Constitution.

By the same token, the fact that Martial Law’s first action is the removal of your individual right to habeas corpus, if SHTF and Martial Law is imposed, you better be ready. No matter what station in life you are, no matter how much money you make, and regardless of your current importance in your own world, when SHTF and Martial Law is imposed, you suddenly become naked and vulnerable to whomever is in charge.

How can we tell when SHTF is close

and Martial Law is most likely to be imposed?

The answers are not always obvious.

One of the first things you will notice is the declaration of a “State of Emergency.” This may happen nationally, in cases like war or terrorist attacks on a large scale ; or it may be localized as we witnessed in the cases of several large natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. When Martial Law was imposed during Hurricane Katrina, state officials ordered evacuations and even forcefully removed residents from their homes. Additionally, officials confiscated firearms, suspended certain laws and prohibited the sale of firearms, liquor and ammunition.

You’ll also notice signs of approaching Marshall Law when:

– You see the suspension of the Constitution – beginning with the first and second amendments
– Immediate confiscation of firearms – it happened before and it will most certainly happen again.
– Unpredictable Habeas corpus suspension – including imprisonment without due process or a right to a trial.
– Mandatory Production of identification or facing arrest
– Mandatory Curfews
– Quarantine zones and travel restrictions
– Mandatory cooperation with search and seizure without reason or warrant

You’ll know that we are in Martial Law even without hearing the words when:

– THE U.S. Constitution is suspended.
– Habeas Corpus is suspended
– Civil Rights are Suspended
– Civil law as we now know them will no longer exist
– No more freedom of the press
– No more freedom of speech
– Forced curfews
– Armed troops on the streets for law enforcement
– Individuals detained without cause
– Homes confiscated of all firearms, ammunition, food and supplies
– Any civilian who attempts to defy martial law may be subjected to court martial.

Thomas Jefferson said it best: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.” This is the reality of Martial Law.

So, now that we know what Martial Law is able to accomplish, let’s talk about what we do to survive it:

Food Rationing

When the entire country is forced into rationing food, you’ll be grateful to have stashed your own food, but if it’s discovered you’ve stashed food, you may be arrested with no habeas corpus rights. So, you’re going to really have to be creative about where you hide your food in particular. Purchase and stash MREs and Freeze dried foods. This way, if Martial law ensues, your survival strategy will be to eat the bulk freeze dried foods and MREs first. Known preppers are classified the same as hoarders and therefore will be targeted by the military end looters. Possessing large amounts of food and supplies puts you as a target by military soldiers who are quite accustomed to eating MRE’s.

Even worse if you are found out you may be detained for refusing to share

Canning at Home

The greatest benefit to home canning your food is that Martial Law Assigned Military Members will typically stay away from home canned foods due to the risk they feel there is of botulism associated with home canning. While searching you stash, they are going to be looking for commercially canned, boxed or processed food, freeze dried foods, and any and all other shelf-keeping food. This idea alone, is a wise decision to protect your food supply. Also consider hiding small stashes of food. Another way to protect your stash is to hide small stashes of your food in unexpected places, rooms or closets away from your kitchen. Tuck food rations in the pockets of your clothes hanging in your closet and in your dresser drawers. That way is you are raided by the authorities, you’ll have back up.

Written by

Tennille Shelly is an award winning, published author from Orlando, FL. A former US Army Soldier, for the better part of two decades, she enjoys crafting words tailored specifically for the audience her clients want to reach. Using succinct, yet thorough content, she strives to convey each article in an understandable, digestible way. With a passion for conversation, communication, coffee, and the written word, she places personal value on each client's needs.

Latest comments
  • ok , so martial law is imposed all rights are gone… so if all rights are gone then who has the authority to say martial law?? Sounds like a free for all, whoever has the biggest stick wins… if this ever happens on a broad scale… everyone who tried to take from you is the enemy.

    • If martial law is declared then it was done by a government leader from the president all the way down to your local councilman.
      Best thing to do is stock up on food, water, medical supplies, guns and ammo.
      Find a place away from your house and bury what you can.
      When they come knocking on your door keep your cool, some folks say to get an old crap gun to give to them if they are there to confiscate weapons.
      Be sure to complain a lot about how you and your family are now defenseless and have no way to protect yourselves, bla, bla, bla, no one likes a complainer and they will more than likely leave instead of listening to you complain.


  • Amazing. The SAME ppl that have been Stealing from You, for all your life, WILL be in Charge.All done Behind closed doors as well.

  • KILL, or be KILLED is the ONLY rule that applies when Martial Law is declared!

    It’s them or Us, and I Choose US!

    • Might be a good idea to introduce yourself to the local “authorities “ . IF you’re practicing “self determination “ OR you’ve legally separated from the corporation known as the UNITED STATES then you might want the locals to be aware of your standing

  • Yeah, Ted. ME TOO !

  • Unless you have an underground shelter that is hidden good luck guys

  • Silver frames on pictures. Any coins or cash. Jewelry. Antiques. The list goes on of things taken by military in these situations. Anything that strikes the eye of an officer will be taken, including military-age children and -adults.

    Inner walls in the house can be used to hide dry foods and canned goods. Any metal used will be detected. Airtight plastic bags, some dry ice and bay leaves work. No flour as it goes rancid fast but corn flour and starch can last for years if treated like regular grain. No smoked products or dairy as these attract rodents and insects and will lead a sniffer dog right to the stash.

    Always, leave enough in the pantry or basement as a lure to stop them from looking deeper.

    Back when Pennsylvania was more concerned about making cash selling hunting licenses than it was farmers (as if they changed, ha!) one grandfather who was a miner cut a few alcoves in the basement walls. Shallow, but deep and cold enough to hold two deer carcasses. My grandparents were well-versed in avoiding government traps. Both were Native American and knew the DNC was and is very bigoted against anyone who refuses to be their houseboy. Pappy covered the walls with planks and put in shelves for canning jars. The alcove doors were hidden (Nana was a whiz at this, having studied the Medieval Era in college) and you had to know where the pin was to open a door. There was more in the barn, places to hide Pappy’s still and extra guns the neolibs did not need to know about. BTW, Pappy lost every tree in the orchard two years in a row. While F-&-G paid for the trees, it was a brutal loss of food and cash needed to keep the family alive. It can take four years and more, up to 12 for some trees, to begin to produce. But, deer meat is a tasty alternative.

    Very often, as too many of us know, it’s friends and family that are the enemy. Usually by accident, but tend to people spy and gossip. Keep below profile. Only those immediately concerned need to know anything you’re doing.

  • It is my intention to hide seeds to sprout plus planting edible weeds around my property to get me and mine through the initial phase. I like that home canned food will not be confiscated, but I do worry about it being destroyed and plan to stash some canned and dehydrated food where it won’t be discovered. Now to reason out where that might be that the neighbors won’t know about.

  • If the military law system is in place, you will have Article 31 rights.

  • It’s appalling that something like this is even being thought about short of a post nuclear exchange. Rights? You have codified “Rights” in the Bill of Rights presently that aren’t upheld. Given something like this lay low and verbally agree with anyone in authority. Be a chameleon. Hide, keep your mouth shut.

  • Well not one survivor but plenty read to just take it in the shorts … for me unless the wanna travel miles to find a couple of people surviving in the wilderness I’m gonna take my chances in the deep woods

  • When it comes to the subjects of martial law and the suspension of habeas corpus we must always remember that the constitution comes first and foremost. The bill of rights is not a set of amendments to the constitution which may be modified. It is a set of rights which all people have independent of the government. It is the job of the government to uphold and protect those rights in any and all situations. If, at any time, the government attempts to curtail those rights the people are to act, in accordance with the second amendment, by taking up arms in order to defend those rights and their liberty against the tyrannical government. This is what the founders had in mind when they wrote it. The government is to be the servant of the people, not their master. The government is only legitimate insofar as it acts by the consent of the governed.

    • in lite of corona ur living n fairy tail land,,to many blue states look what rights were trampled an still held hostage without martial declared ,,they were freely given

  • Jason, Do you Really expect Any Federal Bureaucrat to Follow the Original Constitution, -or- Even know what it says . . . ?

  • If our country goes under Martial Law, the best thing is to wait and see ‘exactly’ what is going on. Do ‘not’ stand out from the crowd, at least to begin with. Martial Law is a ‘different’ kind of beast and the type of beast depends on how the local tyrants interpret how ‘they’ are going to do it. True, there is Article 44, but don’t bet your life on it. I’ve been in a country that declared Martial Law. Not here in the U.S., though. What started as as a ‘control’ measure, quickly got out of hand and turned ugly with the local LEO and military, basically, shooting first and asking questions later. Could that happen ‘here’? I think there are enough local LEO and military members who would draw the line at shooting civilians, unless the civilians fire first.. The country I was in when I experienced this did ‘not’ have a 2nd amendment, but firearms, either handmade or illegally procured were not too hard to get. Let’s hope that a Martial Law situation never occurs on home soil

  • Washington post and news week Dated 24 Dec.20 have some updated articles on the military making plans for Martial law