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Castle Doctrine Now Law in Pennsylvania

Today, I applauded Gov. Tom Corbett for signing into law a proposal that will further protect law-abiding Pennsylvanians right to protect themselves and their families in the face of danger.

House Bill 40, known as the Castle Doctrine, was signed today after garnering strong support in both the House and Senate this year.

As a co-sponsor of this measure, I am pleased to see this accomplishment take place during my service in the House.

The new law protects an individuals right to use deadly force if necessary to defend oneself, family members or others upon attack without fear of prosecution. Under the Castle Doctrine, it will now be presumed that residents do have the right to defend themselves and their families with lethal force.

This new law is about protecting law-abiding citizens from facing prosecution if they use self-defense in the face of an imminent attack. Under previous law, individuals had to ask themselves whether or not they needed to retreat in the face of danger. Otherwise, they could have faced arrest for trying to protect themselves. Residents from throughout the 17th District have voiced strong support for this measure, which I believe represents a commonsense approach to self-defense.

This legislation would not apply if a person was using his or her home or vehicle to engage in criminal activity.

The Castle Doctrine takes effect in 60 days.


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