Sponsorship

This method of acquisition generally assumes that you are willfully given arms by somebody who has an interest in your being armed. In disaster scenarios, local authorities may consider deputizing and arming designated persons or groups in order to preserve order. On a smaller scale, wealthier group members or family members may be encouraged to give you a basic arsenal or a little head start in getting one together. Maybe the father-in-law or uncle wants to look out for the future welfare of his daughter and grandchildren and sees the need to ensure that you have the means to do it.

Arms may also be given in a sort of barter by persons who will expect some protective service from you or your group. An example would be the occasion when Korean community leaders and business owners provided weapons to people in their neighborhoods for protection during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. This was done in order to bolster the security of the local neighborhood businesses from rioters when the police proved unwilling and unable to provide the protection the business owners needed. Other sponsors may be of a political nature. They may provide arms to you or your group because you have a common enemy and they seek more potent allies, or they are unable or unwilling to do the fighting themselves and want you to be able to do the fighting for them. This may be the case in situations where you are geographically closer to a mutual enemy and your sponsors want your common enemy to have more trouble getting though turf that you control before making it to areas that could threaten your sponsors. Sympathetic individuals and groups with access to arms may also provide arms for your own protection or in return for more specified services. This is the case in parts of Bosnia, where Serbian military leaders have provided weapons to Bosnian Serbs and some U.N. troops have "lost" some weapons and equipment to Bosnians in Sarajevo in order to further their own nations’ foreign policy agendas.

Other sponsors may be social or religious in nature. Religious organizations have had an increasing hand in arming various groups worldwide. Islamic organizations are most commonly known for arming the devout, however, they are not alone. The Catholic Church has been known to funnel some small arms to indigenous tribes threatened by leftists in South America. The Jewish Defense League has armed and trained Jews while under a state of virtual siege in New York on the early 1990s. Various American churches have supported armed movements in Central America on both the right and the left. Most of the American religious organizational arming has been secretive and unofficial, thus it is usually denied by the organizational leaders. In general, contact with members of a given religious organization and an expression of an interest in protective arms will eventually lead you to some source of weapons. The price is usually not calculated as much in money as in some sort of loyalty. These organizations can also serve as a source of personnel.

Sponsorship has a lot of advantages; you get stuff almost for free, and with government sponsors (official or unofficial) you may have access to high quality heavy weapons or limited availability technology. The main drawback can be the strings that are attached to sponsorship. Even the generous father-in-law may cut you off if there is a family squabble between him and his daughter. The best way to minimize this drawback with outside sponsors is to have as little contact as possible with your sponsors. Somebody may like the idea that you strike back at the outlaws who try to raid your retreat or that your group has an effective proactive violence policy against terrorists and tyrants. If this makes them feel generous then fine, but make it clear that operational control is not a part of the deal. In situations where the government is the greatest threat to your survival, you should examine the motives of those who wish to sponsor your arsenal. They can be enemy agents trying to gain confidence, plant boobytrapped weapons in your arsenal, or enemies of both you and your government trying to destabilize the situation to their own advantage. On the other hand, it is impolite to look the gift horse in the mouth. Developing positive relationships with people who have access to weapons and equipment is a good idea if you think that you may someday have a need for their generosity.