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Arizona Senate bill allows deadly force for property damage

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2017 photo, is then-Arizona state Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, during a legislative session at the Capitol in Phoenix. A bill sponsored by Ugenti-Rita set for a vote Monday, March 7, 2022, would allow business owners or their employees to use deadly force to defend their property against smash-and-grab robbers if the robber possessed a dangerous weapon. But critics of the proposal say the legislation is so broadly written that it would allow someone to shoot and kill someone just for scrawling graffiti on a wall while having something that might be deemed a weapon. (AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)
Posted at 12:57 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 14:57:54-05

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Senate bill would allow business owners or their employees to use deadly force to defend their property against smash-and-grab robbers if the robber possessed a dangerous weapon.

But critics of the proposal from Scottsdale Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita say it is so broadly written that it would allow someone to be killed just for scrawling graffiti while having something that might be deemed a weapon. Ugenti-Rita acknowledged during a committee hearing that that was possible.

But she pointed to limits in her proposal that said the person had to possess a “deadly instrument” at the time they were “knowingly” defacing or damaging someone's property. Her bill is set for a Senate vote Monday.

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