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Profile: Nick Ramlow

Montana Administrator for People’s Rights

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


Nick Ramlow

Montana Administrator for People’s Rights

Location: Kalispell, Montana


In April 2020, Nick Ramlow, a Kalispell contractor, began his militia organizing after Montana’s governor issued a statewide shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Ramlow declared the governor’s actions illegal and said public officials should be treated as criminals.[1] Ramlow began holding “People’s Meetings” and trying to get local owners to open their businesses in defiance of the governor’s directives.[2]

Ramlow had help. He was assisted by Dr. Annie Bukacek, a member of the Flathead County Board of Health who uses her professional title and position on the board to actively fight against efforts meant to slow the pandemic.[3] Calling herself a “sovereign citizen,” Bukacek has characterized such public health directives as steps toward “martial law.”[4] In early April 2020, Ramlow discussed with Bukacek what they should do at “our meetings.”[5]

While Bukacek continues to be supportive, Ramlow quickly became the public face of these efforts. From the beginning, he spoke about working with Ammon Bundy. By the end of April 2020, he announced he was the “administrator of the People’s Rights movement for the State of Montana.”[6] Ramlow followed Bundy’s example of intimidating and harassing public officials trying to prevent the spread of COVID in communities.

Ramlow quickly announced he was pursuing criminal complaints and arrest warrants for the governor and Kalispell mayor.[7] After realizing he couldn’t file criminal complaints, Ramlow drafted his “Petition for Redress of Grievances” against Governor Steve Bullock.[8] Ramlow filed the grievance in Montana District Court and served copies to most government agencies in Flathead County.[9] The petition stated his belief that Governor Bullock didn’t have the authority to issue public health directives.

Ramlow then focused on the second goal of his organizing – trying to find owners to open their businesses despite the state’s shelter-in-place order.[10] Ramlow said he and his militia would respond if public officials tried to close businesses and “arrest them [public officials] properly.”[11] He cast about social media, offering a bounty of $100 for the address of Kalispell’s mayor so Ramlow could make a citizen’s arrest.[12] Ramlow developed forms that business owners could use to file complaints against public officials with hm.[13] He created stickers announcing local businesses were protected by his militia.[14]

The filing of questionable, at best, litigation and claiming to have the authority to perform law enforcement functions are tactics common to the sovereign citizens’ movement, which the FBI has deemed a domestic terrorist threat. Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino told the local newspaper that, should Ramlow carry out an arrest, it could be considered “kidnapping.”[15] In response, Ramlow said he’s been working with militias around the state. He warned Sheriff Heino “better keep his nose clean,” because Ramlow has “a bigger army than he [Heino] does.”[16]

Ramlow has appeared on the militia-based podcasts of Northwest Liberty News to talk about his People’s Rights efforts.[17] On the show, he’s advocated forming “constitutional militias.”[18] He’s also explained that he and Ammon Bundy hope to establish an “Uber-like” militia response system that can be mobilized whenever people feel their rights are under attack.[19] While Ramlow framed these militias as defensive efforts, it’s important to remember that the Bundys’ claim their armed standoffs with federal agencies in both Nevada and Oregon were defensive in nature after they created and provoked the situations.

Militias are part of People’s Rights in Montana. A leader of the Yellowstone Militia of Billings lists himself as part of the “Physical Defense Committee” of People’s Rights.[20] District One members in Montana have discussed working closely with the United States Freedom Protectors, a national militia group developing local chapters across Montana.[21] Some people holding leadership positions in Montana People’s Rights also are affiliated with the Freedom Protectors.

In July 2020, Ramlow teamed up with some other high-profile Bundy supporters in Montana for a roadshow called “Rage Against the State” to stoke anger at public health measures. Other speakers included: Roger Roots, who advised the legal teams defending the Bundy’s in both Nevada and Oregon; and Ryan Payne, who directed the militia forces supporting the Bundy’s during their standoffs in Nevada and Oregon.



[1] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook. March 27, 2020.

[2] Ramlow’s first “People’s Meeting” was held on April 11, 2020. Facebook, Nick Ramlow, April 10, 2020.

[3] Daily Interlake, March 2, 2020.

[4] Hungry Horse News, April 19, 2020. Daily Interlake, April 7, 2020.

[5] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook. April 3, 2020.

[6] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook. April 30, 2020.

[7] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook. April 20, 2020.

[8] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook. April 27, 2020.

[9] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook. April 30, 2020.

[10] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook. April 14, 2020.

[11] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook.  May 8, 2020.

[12] Montana Human Rights Network, May 1, 2020.

[13] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook.May 11, 2020.

[14] Ramlow, Nick. Facebook.May 11, 2020.

[15] Daily Interlake, May 21, 2020.

[16] Daily Interlake, May 21, 2020.

[17] Northwest Liberty News, April 16, 2020; June 22, 2020; July 28, 2020.

[18] Northwest Liberty News, July 28, 2020.

[19] Northwest Liberty News, June 22, 2020.

[20] Facebook, Tim Westervelt.

[21] Facebook, Montana District One People’s Rights, Aug. 31, 2020; Sept. 6, 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.