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Profile: Ammon Bundy

People’s Rights Founder

Part of the IREHR/MHRN special report, Ammon’s Army.


Ammon Bundy

People’s Rights Founder

Emmett, Idaho


Though he lacks an official title in the People’s Rights organization chart, Ammon Bundy is for all intents and purposes the head of the network. The 45-year-old truck repair company owner from Emmett, Idaho, is involved in virtually every facet of the People’s Rights network—from laying out the structure of the group to overseeing the technology used in the network, to promoting the group, to wrangling area assistants. People’s Rights is Ammon’s army.

Ammon Bundy has been at the center of an astonishing number of armed far-right insurrection attempts since 2014. He first gained national notoriety in 2014 when he was struck with a stun gun by police during federal attempts to enforce the law against his father, Cliven Bundy, in the face of some two decades of legal violations on federal lands.

Armed militia members rushed to defend the racist Nevada rancher, and Cliven Bundy became an overnight cause célèbre across the far right. As the federal government backed down – the first in a series of bungled efforts to hold the Bundy family accountable – Ammon Bundy told the press that “The war has just begun.”[1]

In 2016, Ammon Bundy one-upped his father, when he led the armed seizure and occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in southern Oregon. Bundy helped kick-off the ongoing efforts to “reopen” the economy and oppose government actions to stem the spread of COVID-19, helping lead a mobilization by hosting a small Easter service in an Emmet, Idaho warehouse on April 12, 2020.

The more Ammon has carved his own trajectory in People’s Rights, the more he has echoed his father. At an August People’s Rights event in Idaho, Bundy wielded the same annotated National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS) pocket Constitution that he and brother Ryan brought to Malheur, and of which his father once said, “That’s where I get most of my information from.”

NCCS was founded by W. Cleon Skousen, a far-right figure who worked closely with the conspiracy-weaving John Birch Society. Skousen is infamous for a racist revision of U.S. history in his book The Making of America, which casts American chattel slavery as humane, paints Abolitionists as villains, describes enslaved African people as “usually a cheerful lot” and heaps praise on Confederates for their treatment of the human beings they enslaved.  Skousen’s 1981 book, The 5,000 Year Leap, deploys selective quotes to claim that the U.S Constitution is a Christian nation and that, “No Constitutional authority exists for the federal government to participate in charity or welfare” – a skewed reading of the U.S. Constitution that would gut the capacity of the federal government to address racial and economic inequality and substantially favor those who own significant property over those who do not.

Ammon Bundy’s own views appear to comport with such ideas, including his apparent belief that virtually all, if not all, taxation and the public spending based on it are “evil” and unjustified.[2]



[1] Ragan, Tom and Annalise Porter. BLM release Bundy cattle after protestors block southbound I-15. Las Vegas Review-Journal. April 21, 2014.

[2] See Bundy, Ammon. Facebook. March 10, 2020.

Ammon's Army

Inside the Far-Right People's Rights Network

A Special Report of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and the Montana Human Rights Network

Copyright © 2020. Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights.