Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania
It looks like the House Judiciary Committee will be considering the castle doctrine legislation next Thursday, the 19th of November. The 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. The major provisions are:
- 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. Contact the representatives below, especially if you live in one of their districts. 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.
If you aren’t sure who your representative is, please search here. Call, e-mail, tweet, or even leave a note on their Facebook walls – just make sure your voice is heard!
State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-127) – (717) 787-3525 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Deberah Kula (D-52) – (717) 772-1858 or e-mail her here
State Rep. Kathy Manderino (D-194) – (717) 787-1254 or e-mail her here
State Rep. Don Walko (D-20) – (717) 787-5470 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Joseph Brennan (D-133) – (717) 772-9902 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Paul Drucker (D-157) – (717) 705-2003 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Bryan Lentz (D-161) – (717) 787-8574 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Joseph Petrarca (D-55) – (717) 787-5142 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Greg Vitali (D-166) – (717) 787-7647 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Chelsa Wagner (D-22) – (717) 783-1582 or e-mail her here
State Rep. Ronald Waters (D-191) – (717) 772-9850 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Tom Creighton (R-37) – (717) 772-5290 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Will Gabig (R-199) – (717) 772-2280 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Dick Stevenson (R-8) – (717) 783-6438 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Glen Grell (R-87) – (717) 783-2063 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Tim Krieger (R-57) – (717) 260-6146 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Todd Rock (R-90) – (717) 783-5218 or e-mail him here
State Rep. Katie True (R-41) – (717) 705-7161 or e-mail her here