Movement on Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania

Looks like the House Judiciary Committee will be considering the castle doctrine legislation next Thursday, the 19th of November. NRA is asking people to contact the members of the judiciary committee to support the measure. The actual House Bill is HB40. Look over it, it’s a pretty standard type bill. Major provisions:

  • Eliminates the duty to retreat within one’s home, including attached structures like porches, decks and patios. Exception for people who are using their property to further a criminal activity, so if someone is running a grow operation, and shoots someone breaking in to steal some pot, they can’t claim castle doctrine. Also applies to vehicles, including non-motorized vehicles.
  • Eliminates the duty to retreat on the streets provided you are in fear of grave bodily injury or harm, and provided you are not engaged in criminal activity. Criminal activity is this instance is narrowly defined as to not include things like spitting on the sidewalk. If you’re a drug dealer, you won’t be able to claim castle doctrine if you end up in a gunfight with a rival.
  • Clarifies the definition of loaded firearm to include magazines being secured in a separate pouch, rather than specifying a separate container, provided the magazine is secure, and the ammunition covered. This means you only need one range bag, provided it has a place to secure the magazines.
  • Provides for civil immunity for actions that are ruled self-defense. If the perpetrator sues anyway, it’s a loser pays system, so you can recover attorneys fees. There is no civil liability immunity if you accidentally hit a bystander, so this is not absolute.

To there you have it. Call the reps listed. No doubt there will be a lot of huffing and puffing by politicians, interest groups, and the media about the world will end if this passes. Many of them will never read the bill, or just have an agenda. But I have read it, and will continue to report.

UPDATE: Thanks to Sean for reminding that ACSL will be holding a lobby day on November 18th in support of the Castle Doctrine bill. I didn’t realize they had set a final date, but it looks like they have. Time will be from 9am until sometime in the afternoon. They will meet outside the security checkpoint at the South Entrance to the Capitol, the one with the water fountain outside.

3 thoughts on “Movement on Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania”

  1. as i am sure you are aware, there is a lobby day the day before that was advertised on PAFOA. The people running it seem to be Allegheny Sportsman’s League. There is a public hearing on the Castle Doctrine on the 18th, from 10am-2pm. For those who can be there, you should come!

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