Bill Allowing The Forcible Removal of Trespassers Advances In WY Legislature
A bill that would allow ‘physical force’ to ‘terminate’ suspected trespass, is moving through the Wyoming legislative process.
But hold on, "TERMINATE" does not mean "KILL!"
This bill would allow physical force by a landowner against someone they believe is criminal trespassing.
HB-126 — Trespass–removal of trespasser is an update to the current Wyoming criminal trespass code.
“A person who is the owner or legal occupant of land or a premises upon which a criminal trespass is occurring, or their agent, is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to terminate what the owner, occupant or agent reasonably believes to be the commission of a criminal trespass by the other person in or upon the land or premises.”
That force could be applied by a landowner or legal occupant, agent or manager of the land.
Okay, so they could use "reasonable force." But now we have to define what that means.
The House advanced the bill on a 57-5 last Thursday.
Reps. Barry Crago (R-Buffalo) and Art Washut (R-Casper) and Sens. Bill Landen (R-Casper) and Dave Kinskey (R-Sheridan) sponsored the bill.
The bill brought criticism from a hunter who helped publicize the Carbon County trespass case and raise money for the Missouri hunter’s defense. Jeff Muratore said he wrote lawmakers asking why they sponsored the bill. (WYOFILE).
“I’m greatly saddened at the possibility of people getting hurt or killed over trespassing and even more saddened that something like this would be considered in our legislative body,” Muratore wrote legislators, according to an email he sent to WyoFile.
“Are rich landowners going to now post their henchm[e]n at corners of public and private to physically constrain someone?” the email states. Muratore characterized the bill as one that would allow Wyoming to “step back to the wild west.” (WYOFILE).
Many states have similar laws.