Gov Abbott Warns Squatters Don’t Mess With Texas (Or You’ll Get Shot)

Source: Greg Abbot / Caters News

The Lone Star State’s top lawman has thrown down the gauntlet and issued a shoot-to-kill warning for any two-bit squatters looking to occupy property in Texas unlawfully. In a social media post heard around the world this week, Governor Greg Abbott made it abundantly clear that squatters’ rights won’t fly in the sovereign Republic of Texas, where property owners pack heat, and the law allows the use of deadly force to defend person and property from criminal trespass.

Abbott doubled down on the castle doctrine, citing it as justification for Texans to employ frontier justice if any lowlife squatters dared encroach on their land. The Governor’s message to would-be squatters is clear, Don’t Mess With Texas, or you might catch a bullet.

Governor Abbott Issues Stern Warning to Texas Squatters

The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, doesn’t mess around. This week, Abbott issued a grave warning via social media to any squatters thinking of unlawfully taking up residence in the Lone Star State: you’ll be shot.

Source: Flickr/World Travel and Tourism Council

According to Abbott, anyone occupying a home without the owner’s permission is guilty of criminal trespass and criminal mischief under Texas law. Even more ominously, Abbott noted that the Texas Castle Doctrine allows homeowners to use deadly force to defend their property.

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

Some have criticized the Governor’s “shoot first” policy as an extreme overreaction that could easily lead to loss of life over what should be a civil matter.

Source: Flickr/Bureau of Land Management California

However, others argue that squatters who unlawfully occupy homes should face serious penalties, even if violence should always be an absolute last resort. There is a feeling that some squatters are gaming the system and taking advantage of laws designed to protect tenants.

The Law Protects Squatters, Not Home Owners

Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told Newsweek, “Laws that protect lawful tenants shouldn’t be used to protect people that never had a legal right to be on the property in the first place.

Source: YouTube

Squatters should be evicted then jailed if they break into a home and stay there because they provide a fake lease or other fraudulent documentation.”

What Does the Law Say About Squatters in Texas

Under the Texas Penal Code, squatting is considered criminal trespass, a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Source: McCaw Property Management

And under the state’s Castle Doctrine, homeowners can use force – even deadly force – to protect their property from intruders. So squatters who don’t heed Abbott’s warning could end up in a cell or a casket.

Squatters’ “Rights”? Not in Texas

Some states provide certain protections for squatters, like requiring a formal eviction process to remove them. Not Texas.

Source: Unsplash/Wesley Tingey

Squatters have no legal right to occupy a property without the owner’s permission. Homeowners can call the cops and have squatters arrested and removed immediately.

Home Defense It’s Not Just for Humans

The Castle Doctrine applies to dwellings, vehicles, and land. So, if you catch a squatter trespassing on your property, you can defend it using physical force.

Source: Flickr/Mesa Tactical

Just make sure you feel reasonably threatened before pulling out the shotgun. While Texas law gives homeowners a lot of leeway, deadly force should always be an absolute last resort.

New Laws Aimed at Squatters

To further strengthen property rights, Texas legislators have introduced bills increasing penalties for squatting and making it easier for homeowners to recover damages from squatters.

Source: YouTube

One proposal would make squatting a felony on the third offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Another would hold squatters liable for any damage or unpaid utility costs.

Abbott Invokes the Texas Castle Doctrine on Social Media

According to Abbott, squatters had better watch their backs in the Lone Star State. “In Texas, anyone ‘squatting’ in your home is breaking the law. They are criminals violating TX laws like criminal trespass and criminal mischief,” he tweeted.

Source: X/SafeSuburbsUSA


Abbott helpfully pointed out that the Castle Doctrine gives Texans the right to use force against intruders in case any squatters needed further clarification on his stance.

Mixed Reactions From Governor Abbott’s Social Media Post

The Governor’s warning shot across social media elicited mixed reactions. Some applauded Abbott for standing up for property rights, while others felt his message promoted violence.

Source: X/GregAbbott_TX

Critics argued that squatting, while illegal, is a nonviolent offense that does not warrant the use of deadly force. Supporters counter that squatters pose a threat to homeowners and property rights.

Highlighting Tension Between Squatters and Home Owners

Abbott’s message highlights the tension between property owners and squatters that is playing out across the country.

Source: Shutterstock/Bronwyn Photo

While some see squatters as opportunistic criminals unlawfully occupying homes, others view them as vulnerable individuals in need of shelter and legal protection. The issue has state governments scrambling to balance these competing interests.

Squatters’ Rights Debates Heating Up Nationwide

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day at work to find some rando chilling on your couch, munching your snacks, and binge-watching your Netflix.

Source: eLocal

For homeowners across this great nation, squatters have become the unwanted houseguests that won’t leave.

Politicians Pound Their Chests

In a display of performative masculinity, politicians have been quick to puff out their chests and warn squatters not to mess with their constituents. Greg Abbott, the rootin’ tootin’ Governor of Texas, took to social media to warn squatters that in the Lone Star State, “anyone ‘squatting’ in your home is breaking the law.”

Source: ABC News

Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, not to be outdone, vowed to “put an end to the squatters scam in Florida.” DeSantis sees squatters as cunning manipulators gaming the system rather than, you know, people in desperate need of shelter.

Homeowners Demand Action

Homeowners nationwide have had enough of feckless politicians and are demanding real action against squatters. One disgruntled homeowner complained, “These squatters just waltzed right into my second vacation home while I was summering in the Hamptons.

Source: X/Squatter Squad

The nerve!” Homeowners argue that laws meant to protect tenants shouldn’t apply to squatters, who never had the right to inhabit the property in the first place.

Squatting is A Nuanced Issue

The issue of squatting is more nuanced than politicians and homeowners care to admit. For every scheming squatter, people with no other shelter options occupy abandoned or foreclosed properties out of sheer necessity.

Source: YouTube

Before condemning squatters and stripping them of what few rights they have, lawmakers should consider more compassionate solutions like increased access to affordable housing, healthcare, and a social safety net.

White House Calls Squatting a “Local Issue”

The White House has washed its hands of the squatter scourge besieging Texas, claiming it’s a “local issue” beyond their control.

Source: Reddit

During a press briefing, spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre raised her hands and said fixing the problem is up to “local governments.” The Biden administration can’t be bothered with protecting Texans’ property rights.

Legal Experts Call for Tougher Laws Against Squatters

Some lawmakers argue that anti-squatter laws go too far, violating squatters’ rights. But as Abbott said, “In Texas, anyone ‘squatting’ in your home is breaking the law.”

Source: Pixabay/Betexion

Legal experts insist squatters have no more right to a house than a horse thief has to a stolen stallion. As long as states treat squatters with kid gloves, they’ll continue taking houses with impunity. Tougher laws are needed to curb these varmints and defend homeowners’ rights.

Florida Announces New Anti-Squatter Legislation

Florida’s Governor has had enough of squatters slinking around and scamming homeowners. This week, Ron DeSantis unveiled new laws to curb the unsavory vagabonds.

Source: Orlando Sentinel/Joe Burbank

“We are ending the squatters scam in Florida,” DeSantis declared. The Sunshine State’s existing laws were too squatter-friendly, allowing the rogues to game the system with impunity.

Florida Pushes For More Trespassing Penalties

While other states mollycoddle squatters, Florida is throwing the book at them. The new legislation ratchets up penalties for trespassing and provides new mechanisms for evicting unwanted guests.


Homeowners can now sic the cops on squatters and have them forcibly removed from the premises. “We are protecting property owners and punishing criminals looking to game the system,” said DeSantis, clearly fed up with squatters’ shenanigans.

Texas and Florida Policies More Strict Compared To Liberal States

Florida’s get-tough policy is in sharp contrast with the kid-glove treatment squatters receive in California and other liberal enclaves.

Source: ASAP

There, squatters are practically given the keys to the kingdom, while beleaguered homeowners must navigate a maze of red tape to reclaim their property. Many end up shelling out thousands in legal fees or are forced to pay squatters to leave. Not in Florida! DeSantis is giving squatters the bum’s rush out of his state.

Other States Take Varying Approaches to Squatters

Progressive states like California remain havens for squatters. There, squatters have more rights than property owners, who face lengthy eviction processes even when dealing with unlawful occupants.

Source: Peak Residential

The Golden State’s lawmakers believe providing housing for all is more important than respecting property rights. Who cares if you worked your whole life to buy a home when squatters need shelter?

A Clear Indication Of Divided Views

The varying state approaches highlight the nation’s divided views on squatters’ rights. Are they opportunistic criminals gaming the system or victims of circumstance deserving protection?

Source: Shutterstock/daizouxin

For Abbott and like-minded governors, the answer is clear squatters threaten law and order and must be dealt with harshly. For others, squatters merit compassion.

Home Owners Deserve Protection Against Squatters

While policymakers grapple with this moral dilemma, squatters, and homeowners remain limbo. The former live in uncertainty, never knowing when the sheriff will show up to evict them. The latter live in frustration, unable to utilize their properties due to lengthy legal processes.

Source: Boston Globe/Blake Nissen

There must be a solution that protects the marginalized without trampling the rights of property owners. However, a resolution remains elusive as long as states remain polarized. The squatters stay, and homeowners pay.

A Deterrence To Squatters

Abbott’s trigger-happy warning makes it clear that squatters best not set foot on Texas soil, lest they want an express ticket to the great beyond courtesy of the business end of a shotgun.

Source: Stessa

While the Governor’s enthusiasm for defending property rights is admirable, his eagerness to fill trespassers with lead seems extreme.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

Sally, a dynamic and viral writer, has taken the literary world by storm with her exceptional storytelling prowess. With an uncanny ability to tap into the collective consciousness of her readers, she crafts narratives that resonate deeply and linger long after the last word is read.

Born with a creative spirit, Sally honed her writing skills from a young age, cultivating a unique voice that blends emotion, wit, and social insight. Her work spans a wide spectrum, from poignant short stories that tug at the heartstrings to thought-provoking essays that challenge conventional thinking.

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