The Senate today approved House Bill 40 (Perry-R-Cumberland) by a vote of 45 to 5 adopting the Castle Doctrine in the use of guns for self-defense.
House Bill 40 would protect gun owners who act in self-defense by removing the “duty to retreat” clause when an individual is threatened by an attacker in any place that individual has a right to be, including their home or vehicle. The bill would provide important protections against criminal prosecution or civil litigation for those who act in self-defense.
“Law-abiding citizens should not have to fear prosecution because they seek to protect themselves from criminals,” said Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford). “This measure protects responsible gun owners, while ensuring that their Second Amendment rights are preserved.”
Under House Bill 40, an individual would need to demonstrate a reasonable belief that he or she was in imminent danger in order to use lethal force. The legislation was amended to ensure that the Castle Doctrine applies only to individuals who legally possess a firearm.
The bill also includes tougher penalties for individuals involved in trafficking stolen firearms.