Pennsylvania Becomes 27th State to Pass 'Castle Doctrine' Legislation

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed the state's Castle Doctrine legislation into law on last week, making PA the 27th state to permit law-abiding citizens to use force, including deadly force, against an attacker in their home and any place they have a legal right to be. It also protects individuals from civil lawsuits by an attacker or attacker's family when force is used.

The bill passed in the state House in a 164-37 vote and in the state Senate, 43-4.

The NRA has spearheaded the nationwide movement to pass Castle Doctrine legislation, beginning with Florida in 2005.

Key elements of the bill include allowing people to use deadly force, without first retreating, not only on their own property, but outside their homes or businesses or anywhere in public if they are accosted.

"Gov. Corbett and Pennsylvania lawmakers know that law-abiding citizens must have the right to protect themselves when criminals attack without fear of being second-guessed by an overzealous prosecutor," said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action. "Crime victims don't have the luxury of time when confronted by a criminal and must be able to count on the law being on their side. This new law accomplishes that by removing any mandate of forcible retreat."

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