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Self-Protection Legislation Clears State House, Pickett Says

To ensure that individuals have legal protection to self-defense while standing their ground in their homes, vehicles or anywhere they have a right to be, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) voted today in favor of legislation known as the Castle Doctrine. 

“Although our Second Amendment is guaranteed to us in both our state and federal constitutions, there is no legal protection for individuals who use lethal force in defending their families and their homes when under attack,” said Pickett. “This legislation clarifies state law so that individuals who use lethal force to protect themselves will be rightfully protected under the law.”

The Castle Doctrine, contained in House Bill 40, creates the presumption so that if an attacker or intruder intends to inflict bodily harm, deadly force may be used to protect oneself, family and others while in their home or an occupied vehicle. That presumption also applies if a person is trying to unlawfully remove an occupant, against his or her will from a home or vehicle.  

The presumption would not apply if the person entering a home was another resident of the home, a law enforcement officer, a parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle.  In addition, this legislation would not apply if a person was using their home or vehicle to engage in criminal activity.  

“Unfortunately, the Castle Doctrine legislation was vetoed by the previous governor late last fall, but now that we’re in a new session with a new administration, I am more optimistic than ever that this legislation will be moved through the Senate and signed by the governor,” Pickett said. 

This new version of the legislation also strengthens the penalties related to the trafficking of stolen guns.    

House Bill 40 received a strong bipartisan vote of 164-37 and now heads to state Senate for consideration. 

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Jennifer Keaton

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