Proposed Law Would Allow Ranchers To Shoot Trespassers

( – State lawmakers in Arizona recently passed a bill in the House to allow ranch owners to use lethal force against trespassers on their land. Since the border crisis began in 2021, illegal migrants have often crossed through ranchers’ private property upon entry into the United States. Republican state representative Justin Heap sponsored the legislation, which he believes will deter illegal migrants from habitually trespassing on private property. Arizona has a Castle Doctrine, but it is limited to illegal entry into a home.

Heap said that the new legislation is “an amendment to fix” the question of whether a landowner can defend their property even if it is not near their home. State representative Alex Kolodin expressed approval of the legislation, marking it as a bill that defends the Second Amendment and removes “ambiguity out of our law.” The legislation made it out of committee with only Republican support but passed the full House on February 22. Many ranches butt up against the border with Mexico, which could lead to more legislation and legal battles if the property is not clearly marked.

Axios defined the bill as a way for Arizonans to be allowed to murder another person legally. Democratic Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs will likely veto the legislation if it lands on her desk, but Republicans may use that to attempt to make her a one-term governor. The trial of Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly is set to begin on March 21. Kelly is accused of killing an illegal migrant from Arizona who trespassed on his 170-acre property in January 2023. Kelly has maintained that he only fired warning shots toward the group of migrants that were making their way across his large property. He was charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. With Hobbs as governor, Arizona has become defenseless in comparison to the strong stance that Texas has taken against the radical policies of the Biden administration.

Copyright 2024,