Martial law is a scary thing. If the term "martial law" is still unclear for you, let me define it. It's the situation when the government decides it's in the best interest of the nation, for them to take absolute control. Once they've got power, they simply use the military to enforce their will on the rest of the country.

For the individuals like you and me, this presents a significant problem. Under martial law, you effectively have zero rights. Zero. The constitution is no longer applicable. We will be subject to the whims of the government , and the military enforcers they have put in place.

Now it's not every day that a government can get away with a switch to martial law. Usually, it's done as a last resort to enable quick decision making and to bring stability during a crisis. Like city-wide rioting, a massive natural disaster or even a terrorist attack could trigger a switch to martial law. And it works. The general public is happy to give up their rights for peace-of-mind that the government is going to look after them.

The trouble comes when the checks and balances our society needs are dissolved. Even with the best intentions, it simply shifts responsibility. Suddenly the military has all the power, which is what scares me the most.

Today, we're going to cover the most important repercussions when a society is facing martial law, because as much as you want to deny it, every country has the potential for martial law.

There will be no free speech

The first thing that will happen is the government will take control of the flow of information. News and media outlets will be given strict reporting instructions, or shuttered completely. Anyone that speaks out against the regime will be silenced, and anyone who does report the truth can expect to be arrested and detained.

My advice to you is to keep your opinions to yourself. There will always be people wanting to protest, but in my experience those with the loudest voices are the ones who will suffer most. If you're got any wits about you, keep your mouth shut or wind up in a prison cell (or worse). Your priority needs to be on keeping your family safe, so avoid attracting any undue attention to yourself.

Your guns are no longer yours

As the military takes control, they will seek to disarm the public. Civilians with weapons can be a threat, to both the military as well as the rest of the public. But do you really think all the bad guys are going to give up their guns? I doubt it. This leaves you vulnerable, and reliant on the military to keep your family safe. But what if they're not around, or they simply don't care?

Hide your weapons. You want your firearms to be easily accessible, but are not easily found. I've got a system where my "gun cabinet" is out in the open, but I've got a number of hidden caches so if I find my weapons being confiscated, I've got a backup. These are placed strategically in my home and my bug out location, along with plenty of ammo. Oh and if you have kids, don't think hiding is good enough. You want to secure any firearms in a locked safe or cabinet that they can't easily get to.

The government will control your movements

In addition to being able to run surveillance on anyone they deem suspicious, there will be curfews enacted that will be strictly enforced. Do not break these. You will get in serious trouble, unless you've got a darn good reason for being outside and can convince any military you run into to let you get on with it. My advice would be to start learning the backstreets and different routes you could take through your neighborhood while avoiding any major roads. Stealth will be your friend if you're out after curfew, along with a set of dark gear. You do not want to get caught.

You may be evicted from your home

The sad part about giving up all of your rights is that the military has the ability to do whatever they like. Your home is no longer off limits, and if you're unlucky you may find you're being forcibly removed from your home. Perhaps it's to get you to a "safe" location, or the military may have just decided they need your property to house the influx of soldiers for their own operations. In either case, you're going to need to move quick. Keeping a bug-out-bag packed is a good practice, so you can grab it and retreat once it's no longer possible to stay in your home. I'd also recommend getting one of our free survival grenades, it's a compact kit with 15 essential survival items, and a great addition to your pack.

Your supplies may be raided

The food and supplies you've been collecting for years are also up for grabs in a martial law scenario. If discovered, the military may simply confiscate everything to serve the greater good of the community. The downside, is you're not going to be able to stop the military from taking it. Instead, focus on creating backup caches that you can rely on if your main supply is compromised, and hide any vital gear, like prescription medicine that you must take, in a location where it won't be found. I don't know about you, but I don't plan on relying on the government with my hands out for each meal.

You can be detained indefinitely

Our final point is one of the most important. Despite your feelings towards the military and the martial law being imposed, you've got to play an act. Be respectful and courteous, and be willing to cooperate with any orders you're given. A simple smile and a few "yes sirs" will go a long way. With your rights gone, there's nothing stopping the military for imprisoning you. Perhaps you were threatening, failed to give them the answer they wanted, or just caught an officer on a bad day. Be obedient until you can slip away, the best thing you can do during martial law is to stay out of sight, and out of mind.

It seems extreme, but martial law has happened many times before, and recently across many countries the world over. It's almost guaranteed to happen again. My advice is to prepare, and if you find yourself in an area that's under martial law just hunker down, and keep a low profile until things get back to normal. You never know what may happen.


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