Updated 4:58 p.m. 3/2/10

• Read the charging documents.

FAIRBANKS — Authorities arrested the leader of the Second Amendment Task Force, who also helped form a citizens militia, on a charge of felony assault with a weapon on Monday.

Schaeffer Cox, 26, is accused of using a weapon to harm a family member, according to Alaska State Trooper Mark Hendrickson. Whether the alleged weapon was a firearm was not known late Monday. The trooper investigating the assault report was not available.

Hendrickson, a supervisor, said the complainant is a family member who went to Wasilla to report the assault. The incident reportedly happened a few days ago in the Fairbanks area.

A warrant was issued, and Cox turned himself in Monday at about 3 p.m. without incident, Hendrickson said.

An official with the booking office at the Fairbanks Correctional Center said Cox posted $3,500 bail.

According to Alaska Statute, second-degree assault involves causing physical injury to another person by means of a dangerous instrument.

Cox is accused of assaulting a woman Thursday on a drive to Anchorage. The assault did not involve a firearm, according to Alaska State Troopers.

An affidavit by an investigating officer said Cox got in an argument with the victim and punched her in the arm.

After the victim commented again, Cox grabbed her throat, pinned her against the door and squeezed her neck, choking her, the affidavit alleges. Cox eventually stopped and sat back in his seat before driving on to Anchorage.

According to the complaint, an Anchorage police officer contacted the victim and saw a fingernail scrape and minor bruising, redness and swelling on her neck.

An attempt to reach Cox on his cell phone was unsuccessful.

Cox is a mountain climber, carpenter and the son of a Baptist preacher. He started the Second Amendment Task Force early last year after an unsuccessful bid for the Alaska Legislature. He challenged District 7 Rep. Mike Kelly in the 2008 Republican primary.

The purpose of the Second Amendment Task Force, according to Cox’s Web site, www.schaefferforstatehouse.com, is to fight laws that infringe the right to bear arms.

Cox has organized multiple high-profile meetings and rallies promoting gun rights and personal freedoms. A three-hour “Freedom Fest” was held at the Carlson Center last April.

Cox’s efforts have caught the attention of groups such as the Interior Alaska Conservative Coalition and the Alaskan Independence Party.

In December, Cox was a speaker at a rally in Post Falls, Idaho., organized by the Friends of Liberty Coalition, the Spokesman-Review newspaper reported.

Cox spoke about the need to remove the stigma from the word militia, the newspaper reported. About 3,500 people reportedly belong to an Alaska militia organized by Cox.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at

459-7544.