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Protecting property with firearms has limitations in Arizona

In Arizona, many people are able to enjoy the right to own and carry firearms. A variety of guns can be legally used for sports such as hunting or target practice, as well as for protection. Following the state’s rules and regulations regarding weapons is an important part of the responsibility of gun ownership.

When it comes to using a gun to prevent a crime, CNN reports that it is legal in Arizona to use deadly physical force in many circumstances within a person’s vehicle, home, property or work. These include murder, aggravated assault, rape, armed robbery or setting fire to a building that is occupied. The law that defines this right is known as the Castle Doctrine.

Arizona statutes point out that there are situations where the use of deadly force to prevent someone from breaking and entering is not justified. A person cannot fire a gun at someone who is attempting to take a child from the home or vehicle and has the right to do so. This includes a parent, guardian or grandparent who has legal custody. Unless there is an injunction against harassment or restraining order, the use of deadly force to protect property is not justified against a person who is in a place where he or she may legally be.

Law enforcement officials who are doing their job by entering another’s vehicle or home cannot legally be attacked with deadly force, or any physical force. Similarly, no one who is doing something illegal has justification to attack someone.

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