Culver Applauds Signing of Castle Doctrine

To further the protection of residents’ Second Amendment rights, Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) applauded the signing of a new law that protects law-abiding individuals’ right to self-defense. 

Gov. Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 40, known as the Castle Doctrine. 

“After a hard-fought battle to advance this legislation through the General Assembly, I am pleased the Castle Doctrine is finally law,” Culver said, noting a version of the bill last session had been vetoed. “When faced with life-and-death situations when seconds count, residents shouldn’t have to fear criminal prosecution to save the life of themselves or of their families. This is commonsense legislation that will further protect our rights, rather than those of criminals.” 

The Castle Doctrine clarifies state law so that if an attacker or intruder intends to inflict bodily harm, 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.  

The presumption would not apply if the person entering a home was another resident of the home, a law enforcement officer, a parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle. In addition, this legislation would not apply if a person was using their home or vehicle to engage in criminal activity.  

The legislation is based on a similar bill enacted in Florida that addresses the use of deadly force in defense of self and others within an individual’s residence or occupied vehicle. It does not endorse unlawful aggression as a means of self-defense. 

The law goes into full effect in 60 days. 

State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver
108th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Jennifer Keaton

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