Republican State Rep. Andy Holt of Tennessee offered to “send support” to an armed militia led by Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, which has taken over a federal wildlife refuge in Harney County, Oregon.
“#bundymilitia Where can I send support for your effort?” Holt tweeted on Jan. 3, according to Nashville Scene.
Holt later deleted that tweet but added, "Ferguson protesters set streets on fire/destroy countless properties- liberals call it free speech, but say #bundymilitia R terrorists lol."
"support 10th Amdmt, support #bundymilitia," Holt added in another tweet. "I support both-Although, setting buildings on fire doesn't accomplish much. Wait- that's Baltimore."
The 10th Amendment doesn't support armed takeovers of federal facilities by militias, but it does state: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The controversy in Oregon began when two ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr., and his son, Steven, were re-sentenced in October 2015 for their arson convictions from 2012. They reportedly set fires on their land in 2001 and 2006 to prevent the growth of invasive plants, as well as wildfires; the Hammond family's fires, however, also burned neighboring land owned by the Bureau of Land Management. BLM is the same federal agency Cliven Bundy and his supporters had a standoff with in 2015 in Nevada.
On Jan. 2, several militia members joined Ammon in the armed occupation of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, but at least one official believes that their real intention is an anti-government call-to-arms.
"These men had alternative motives to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States,” Harney County Sheriff David Ward said in a statement on Jan. 3, according to USA Today.
"A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution," Ward added. "For the time being, please stay away from that area. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation."
The FBI is now in charge of monitoring the armed standoff.