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Senate Passes Legislation to Establish Castle Doctrine

Senate Passes Legislation to Establish Castle Doctrine

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today that would establish the Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania to protect gun owners who act in self-defense, according to Senator Richard Alloway II (R-33).

The Castle Doctrine Amendment, which was prime-sponsored by Senator Alloway, was added to House Bill 1926.  Alloway’s amendment would remove the “duty to retreat” clause when an individual is threatened by an attacker in any place that individual has a right to be, including the individual’s home or vehicle. The bill would provide important protections against criminal prosecution or civil litigation for those who act in self-defense, Alloway said.

The amended legislation includes similar language to legislation Alloway introduced earlier this year.

“Gun owners should have a right to defend their lives and property in their own home, and this legislation ensures that law-abiding citizens have the authority to defend themselves when they are faced with a serious threat from a criminal,” Alloway said. “Passage of this legislation is a victory for all individuals who own a firearm to defend their lives, family and property.”
Under House Bill 1926, an individual would need to demonstrate a reasonable belief that he or she was in imminent danger in order to use lethal force.

Twenty-three states have established the Castle Doctrine, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

“House Bill 1926 enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the Senate, and I would like to thank my colleagues for showing their support for legislation that would protect the rights of responsible gun owners,” Alloway said.

House Bill 1926 will now return to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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