AZ lawmakers consider bill to expand use of deadly force against trespassers

Published: Sunday, March 3, 2024 - 5:05am

Arizona lawmakers are considering a bill that would expand the Castle Doctrine, which allows property owners to use deadly force against trespassers in their homes.

Republican Rep. Justin Heap says his bill would apply the law to farmers and ranchers using deadly force against trespassers on their land, not just in their home.

“We’ve had several cases and unfortunately, an increasing number of cases as we’re seeing increasingly larger numbers of migrants or human traffickers moving across farm and ranch land,” he said.

But Democratic Rep. Analise Ortiz says such an expansion of the law would “wreak havoc” on communities.

“I do not think there is any sense in giving a green light to more extrajudicial killings, and for that reason I am a strong ‘no,'" she said.

The bill has already passed out of the House and awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.