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Pickett Praises Passage of Pro-Self Defense, Pro-Second Amendment Legislation

The state House this week reaffirmed the right of Pennsylvania citizens to protect themselves from armed intruders with adoption of “Castle Doctrine” legislation, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna) said today.  

House Bill 40 creates a presumption in law that an attacker or intruder intends to inflict bodily harm; therefore, 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.  

 “It seems obvious that someone breaking into your home or car does not have good intentions, especially when that person is carrying a gun, knife or other weapon. But existing law requires a victim to retreat first, before engaging the use of force to protect oneself,” Pickett said. “The adoption of the Castle Doctrine tips the scales in the right direction – to support the person being victimized.” 

Pickett emphasized that there are exceptions, such as if the person entering a home was another resident of the home, a law enforcement officer or a parent or guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle.  

“It’s also important to note that a person who uses force against an intruder must have a reasonable belief that he or she was in imminent danger,” Pickett said. “This bill is designed to ensure people have the right and civil protection to protect themselves in the face of unlawful aggression.” 

The bill, which passed by a vote of 159-38, also provides civil immunity to protect law-abiding citizens from being named in lawsuits for their self-defense actions. 

The measure now goes to the Senate for its consideration. 

Rep. Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(570) 265-3124
(717) 783-8238
Contact:  Jennifer Algoe Keaton
House Republican Public Relations
(717) 705-2094

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