Proposed AZ Law Would Allow Ranchers near Border to Shoot Trespassers

A bill making its way through the Arizona legislature would allow ranchers to use lethal force to protect their property from trespassers.

Axios reported that the legislation, HB 2843, is sponsored by State Rep. Justin Heap (R), who wants to squash illegal immigrants’ habit of crossing through private ranches after illegally entering the U.S.

The AZ Mirror noted that Heap’s legislation changes the state’s Castle Doctrine so that lethal force is not limited to instances where someone unlawfully enters one’s abode. Rather, ranchers and other land owners would also be shielded by law if they used deadly force against someone who was simply illegally on their land.

Heap explained:

“Language like ‘and’ ‘or’ ‘either’…that one word can completely change the meaning of how this law is then applied,” Heap said. “If a farmer owns 10,000 acres of farmland, his home may be a half a mile away from where he is, and if he sees someone on his land, can he approach them and (remove) them from his property? This is an amendment to fix that.”

State Rep. Alex Kolodin (R) lauded Heap’s legislation, saying, “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.”

HB 2843 passed in committee on a party line vote and then passed in the Arizona House  “on Feb. 22 by a 31-28 vote.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a pro-staffer for Pulsar Night Vision. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010 and holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at

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