If rules were made to be broken, then who better to break them then members of an outlaw motorcycle club? The Sons Of Anarchy, like plenty of real-life motorcycle clubs, were formed by ex-veterans who returned home, feeling disenfranchised. That feeling leads to them being outlaws. The form and structure of the military leads to all kinds of rules and regulations that club has to follow.
The Club started when guys like John Teller, Piney Winston, and some more of The First 9 returned home from Vietnam. Guys like John and Piney wanted the club to be the ideal hippie biker commune for people to join. Upstarts like Clay felt otherwise and made the necessary moves for a power grab which included many of the same rules that The First 9 had established in the Sons initial charter. But under Clay’s rule, as fans of the show know, SAMCRO started to implode.
Even though Jax wanted to set the Club back on the right path, reestablish his father’s legacy and forge his own, the MC and its members still broke all kinds of rules. Jax had to break plenty himself just to help the Club get back on the straight and narrow.
Here are 10 Rules SAMCRO Members Have To Follow On Sons Of Anarchy (And 10 They Love To Break).
20 Follow - Get The Ink
Unless you have some strange aversion to tattoos (and if you do, you shouldn’t really join up with a motorcycle crew. When you’re fully patched into the Sons Of Anarchy, you’re required to show your love and allegiance to Club. Some guys have shoulder or sleeve tattoos. Jax famously had an entire back piece, showing off the love of his club and his brothers.
That goes the other way too. When you’re exiled from the MC, former members are forced to get their club tats removed. If for some reason, they don’t the Club will do so, forcibly.
19 Break - Staying Within Their Territory
With so many motorcycle clubs around the world, their individual charters are bound to run up against each other at one point or another. Through a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and bullets the Sons have tried their best to protect their hometown of Charming and neighboring towns in Northern California.
But it wouldn’t be much of a show if they were successful, would it? The Club has headed as far as Ireland, in order to keep their own personal neighborhood safe - to save Jax’s own son, who was taken by the IRA.
18 Follow - Abide By Club Vote
In case you didn’t realize it by all of those scenes if Jax reading excerpts from his father’s SAMCRO bible, both father and son tried to rise above the stereotypical biker thug. They both tried to raise the Sons Of Anarchy along with themselves too. They did this, and even Clay did this using a more democratic approach to running the MC.
Everyone at the table gets a vote on whatever issue is presented at the table - who to patch in, who to do business with, etc. But once the “ayes” have it and the gavel proclaims it, all of the Sons abide by the vote.
17 Break - Go Against The Prez
While the Club does almost always to follow one another after a vote, it’s presidents are an entirely different story. In the Club’s history, there have been four presidents - John, Clay, Jax, and Chibbs. Chibbs, we only got to see run things for a few moments, but Clay and Jax both went up against their presidents.
They both sought to take out the sitting club president based on disagreements on how the MC should be run; in Jax’s defense, it didn’t help that Clay had helped to murder his father. Heavy is the head that wears the crown...helmet.
16 Follow - No Dealing
Besides not wanting to be under the thumb of some crazy Mexican Cartel, the main reason the Sons wanted nothing to do with the Galindo Cartel was because the Club is not fond of substances in Charming, or anywhere near their town.
The MC has a pretty staunch policy against club members dealing. Its an interesting sense of morality - they’re happy to deal guns to adult delinquents but not dope to teenage ones. Both illegally trafficked items could spell doom if it got into a kid’s hands.
15 Break - Club Before Family
When you’re part of the Sons, or any MC for that matter, you need to be ready, willing, and able to put the Club before anything else in your life, including your immediate family. No matter what, no matter the situation.
That explained why anytime people think that the Club is in trouble, due to a member, they tend to look at the member’s family. When Jax was trying to leave Charming with Tara, Tara became a victim of this, even though it was Gemma that eliminated her. Gemma, although not a member would never have let Jax put his non-club family first.
14 Follow - Keep The Street Peace
It hasn’t always worked out in their favor, but one of the reasons the Sons Of Anarchy were to help keep the citizens of Charming safe. The theory, at least the way the series portrays it, is sort of like “deal with the devil you know.”
While the crew has some violent means of keeping the peace, they also do their best to make sure that the very same violence between themselves and other clubs seldom comes home, and at the very least to innocent bystanders.
13 Break - No Shacking Up With Someone Else’s Girl
The code of honor among vagrants, vagabonds, and outlaws is a really strange one sometimes. Case in point, normal bro code rules like booking up with your boy’s girlfriend.
It’s a rule that got Bobby, at Clay’s behest tried to break. When the Club’s Prospect, Half-Sack was training for bare-knuckle boxing, Chibs had taken away the kid’s booze, bud, and women in an attempt to get him ready for the fights. Clay had gotten Bobby to try and hook up with Cherry, the Prospect’s girl. But she stayed loyal to the kid.
12 Follow - No Ride, No Vote
It might sound petty, it might sound silly. But if you can’t ride your motorcycle, you can’t vote on Club matters. It is a Motorcycle Club, after all. It’s why, even though he became disillusioned by the very club he helped to start, Piney kept riding. Health problems had him confined to three wheeler though.
It’s also why Clay kept his growing arthritis problem from the rest of the Club. When Jax and be were getting along, he carefully tied his stepfather’s hands to his bike’s handlebars to keep them from shaking too violently.
11 Break - all white
It is one of the Sons Of Anarchy’s most outdated rules for a multitude of reasons. For whatever the reasons, when the First 9 started SAMCRO, they had a strict rule in place - no persons of color. You might say it was due to the times that the Club was formed, but it’s the rule that almost brought down the whole club when Juice did all he could to hide his parentage from his bothers.
Thankfully, the rule was thrown out and made official when T.O. Cross from the Grim Bastards is patched into the Sons.
10 Follow - Ride A Harley
Any motorcycle club worth their weight in coolness factor should be riding in formation when they roll out. But not just in formation, they should be riding in uniformity, all on the same type of wheels. For SAMCRO, that means the classic Harley Davidson brand.
When the entire crew heads out, it’s not just expected, it’s demanded of them that they ride the built to the last brand of bike. A member probably won’t get too much heat for not riding a Harley, but they’d certainly get unbearable razzing because of it.
9 Break - Hang Out With Law
Nobody seemed to mind that Chibs was meeting up and snacking up with new sheriff Althea Jarry during the final season of the series. There has to be some rule not just against fraternizing with the guys and girls that spend their days trying to catch people like you.
Had it been anyone but Chibs, perhaps the Club would have doled out a harsher punishment then razzing their Vice President. But the guy has been a loyal member of the MC for years, might as well let him have his fun.
8 Follow - Wear The Gear
Like any other organization in the world, from the army to the Girl Scouts there is a uniform that you need to wear. You have to represent the club or the team that you run with. The Sons Of Anarchy are no different. When you’re part of the Club, you need to wear the vest just about all the time.
The vest is referred to as a kutte. The patches on it, or rockers dictate who you are, and your standings in the Club, from Prospect all the way to President.
7 Break - Wear The Gear
As with most of the “break” part of this list, there are always exceptions to the rule. While SAMCRO members need to wear their colors at all times, that rule doesn’t and shouldn’t always apply. When the guys have to do some less than legal things, it’s doubtful that they’d want the Feds to find one of their vests on the scene.
When the Sons have to get the job done, which is fairly often, they instead wear all black, The occasional mask and hoodie to keep their own identities and the Club’s identity out of the police crosshairs.
6 Follow - Ride In Formation
One of the reasons Sons creator Kevin Sutter was so fascinated with the biker culture is the strange hypocrisy that comes with a bunch of guys who seemingly want to be nothing more than free, but join up with clubs that have so much structure and so many rules.
To maintain Club order in the streets, the Sons maintain a strict formation when riding their bikes. Obviously, the Pres rides out in front as the fearless leader. Right behind him are his VP and Sgt-At-Arms. Most of the time, a road captain will also ride near the front, and some sort of gunman will bring up the rear.
5 Break - Never Abandon Another Club Member
The Sons, like a lot of real life old school motorcycle clubs, were founded by ex-pats and military men who returned home feeling slightly abandoned by the country they helped to defend. Naturally, members would be none too pleased if their brothers did the same thing to each other.
For a member, like Kyle Hobart to ditch Opie leaving him to be caught by the cops was unforgivable. He was immediately excommunicated from the Club and ordered to remove his tattoos.
4 Follow - Respect The Queens
Women are not allowed anywhere near the handlebars of a bike. Not even any of their old ladies. They’re not allowed to be club members, either. Despite the proverbial “no girls allowed sign” on the Clubhouse, that doesn’t mean that the men don’t pay homage to the queens of anarchy.
Every single club member treats Gemma as their friend and trusted confidante, no matter the scenario. Once Tara is official with Jax, she gets paid the same respect. If you’re an old lady, you have the utmost love and respect of all of your man’s brothers.
3 Break - Eliminating Other Club Members
Common sense flies out the window when the feelings of claustrophobia close in on sociopaths. It seems like it would be a complete no-brainer not to murder your friends and brothers. However, when it’s your fellow Club member that has either wronged you, or can bring you down, you don’t have much of a choice.
Juice, Clay, Jax, and probably a handful of other Club members have murdered one of their own. Juice to keep his parentage safe, Clay to save his own derrière, and Jax under A Club vote, to put the Sons back on the right track.
2 Follow - Prospects are Indentured Servants
When you want to run with SAMCRO, you have to be willing to do anything and everything your club asks you to do. You also don’t immediately come in with Sons rockers to add to your kutte, you have to earn them.
The only way to earn them is to be a Prospect for the Club. You’re the equivalent of a fraternity pledge during rush week, and rush week can last for several years if the Club decides it. Once and if you officially become a member, you’ll have more leeway. But until then, as a Prospect, you’re just the Club’s gofer boy.
1 Break - eliminating Fellow Member’s Loved Ones
Purposely or not, when you hang out with a bunch of nefarious ne’er do wells, you actually need to let them know that they shouldn’t be offing old ladies, fathers, or anyone else close to a member. Even though it was an accident, that didn’t stop Tig from eliminating Donna.
It certainly didn’t stop Clay from murdering Opie’s dad, fellow founding member, Piney. While Gemma is technically not a member, she has been the queen since day one. She brutally murdered her own daughter-in-law.
Can you think of any other rules SAMCRO has to follow in Sons of Anarchy? Let us know in the comments!