AZ GOP Bill Approves Use of Deadly Force Against Unauthorized Entry

Republicans in Arizona are pushing a bill that would give landowners bordering Mexico the right to use lethal force to keep trespassers off their property.

The AZ Mirror said that the measure would permit the use of lethal force against undocumented migrants “in the defense of himself or third persons” on private properties along the border with Mexico. It is anticipated that the law will be vetoed if it reaches the desk of the state’s Democratic governor, Katie Hobbs.

According to Axios, the new measure broadens the current doctrine from a house intrusion to a home or property incursion. Arizona law currently permits the use of deadly force against home intruders if determined necessary for safety.

Rep. Justin Heap of the state GOP is the sponsor of HB 2843.

According to the AZ Mirror, the bill modifies the state’s Castle Doctrine to allow for the use of lethal force in situations other than those involving unauthorized entry into a person’s house. Instead, if ranchers or other landowners used lethal force against someone who was trespassing on their property, they would likewise be protected by the law.

“Language like ‘and’ ‘or’ ‘either’ … that one word can completely change the meaning of how this law is then applied,” Heap told the Arizona Mirror.

Can a farmer who owns 10,000 acres of land approach someone on his property and (emove) them if he finds them there, even if it’s a half-mile distant from his home? This amendment aims to address that.

According to the AZ Mirror, state GOP representative Alex Kolodin applauded the bill for shielding those who might be accused of using excessive force in certain circumstances.

“This is a great Second Amendment bill that is also protecting the rights of the accused to make sure we are taking ambiguity out of our law,” Kolodin stated.

According to the AZ Mirror, Arizona is one of around thirty states that have laws that do away with the need to flee before using force. Ten states have explicit “Stand Your Ground” statutes that allow the use of force if one feels threatened, including Louisiana and Florida.

Every Democrat on the committee voted against HB 2843, which was approved in committee on a party-line vote, according to the site.

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