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Pennsylvania Governor Signs NRA-Backed Castle Doctrine Into Law

Friday, July 1, 2011

This week, Governor Tom Corbett (R) signed Pennsylvania Castle Doctrine legislation into law.   This common-sense measure permits law-abiding citizens to use force, including deadly force, against attackers in their homes and any place where they have a legal right to be.  It also protects individuals from civil lawsuits by attackers or attackers' families when force is used.

Pictured left to right, Sen. Rich Alloway, Gov. Tom Corbett, NRA-ILA
Pennsylvania State Liaison, John Hohenwarter and Rep. Scott Perry
"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 NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  "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."

NRA has led the nationwide movement to pass Castle Doctrine legislation, beginning with Florida in 2005.  Pennsylvania is the 27th state to adopt this important measure with overwhelming bipartisan support.  House Bill 40, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R-92), passed by a 164 to 37 margin.  Sen. Richard Alloway, II (R-33), sponsored the companion bill to HB 40, Senate Bill 273, which passed 43-4.

"I am very gratified that Governor Corbett has signed this legislation into law, correcting the grievous error made by the previous administration in denying these long-sought protections to our citizens," said Rep. Perry.  "There are many people who have worked hard to get this legislation to this point, and I am grateful to my House and Senate colleagues and to the National Rifle Association for their support.  The time has finally come to return common sense and good judgment to state government, and this legislation is a step in that direction.  A criminal should never have an advantage over a citizen who abides by the rules of decent society, and today, we finally achieved the goal of returning the right of self-defense to the law-abiding."

"Law-abiding gun owners should not have to fear prosecution for acting to prevent a violent crime," said Sen. Alloway, who introduced Castle Doctrine legislation that was approved by the Senate in March.  "I am thankful that the General Assembly has taken action to protect responsible gun owners who respond when facing a serious threat from a criminal.  I would also like to thank the NRA for their strong leadership and hard work on this effort as it moved through the legislative process."

"On behalf of NRA members and all gun owners in Pennsylvania, I would like to thank Rep. Perry, Sen. Alloway, and Gov. Corbett for their leadership in helping make Castle Doctrine a reality for Pennsylvanians," concluded Cox.  "This Castle Doctrine bill places the law on the side of law-abiding gun owners who unfortunately become victims of crime – exactly where the law should be."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.