Arizona bill allowing lethal force for property damage fails | National government and new policies






FILE – In this January 31, 2017 file photo, Arizona State Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita sits during a legislative session at the Capitol in Phoenix. A bill sponsored by Ugenti-Rita, put to a vote Monday, March 7, 2022, would allow business owners or their employees to use deadly force to defend their property from thieves smash-and-grab if the thief possessed a dangerous weapon. But critics of the proposal say the legislation is drafted so broadly that it would allow someone to shoot and kill someone simply for scribbling graffiti on a wall while having something that could be considered like a weapon.


Bob Christie – personal, AP


By BOB CHRISTIE – Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Senate on Monday rejected a bill sponsored by a Republican lawmaker that would have expanded state laws authorizing the use of deadly force to prevent someone from damaging property.

GOP Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita’s legislation failed after several Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting a major expansion of state laws that currently only allow lethal force to stop very serious crimes.

The Scottsdale legislator said her intent was to give business owners or their employees the right to defend their property from smash-and-grab thieves if the thief possessed a dangerous weapon. But the reviews of The Ugenti-Rita bill said the legislation was drafted so broadly that it would allow someone to be shot and killed simply for scrawling graffiti on a wall while having something that could be considered a weapon.

Republican Senator Sonny Borrelli of Lake Havasu City said the bill went too far.

“I can understand you using force to save your life, that of your friend, your family or another person. Any kind of reasonable force that I stand for, I will support,” Borrelli said. “But for… someone who damages property? You can replace property, you can’t replace life. I think this bill is a bit extreme.”

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