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'Castle Doctrine' gun law goes into effect today

August 27, 2011

Legislation signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett that expands on an individual's right to use lethal force in self-defense is set to go into effect today.
Act 10 of 2011, widely known as the 'Castle Doctrine,' allows individuals to use lethal force to defend themselves in their residence (including porch, deck, or patio) or occupied vehicle against an assailant threatening them or a third party.
The legislation, sponsored chiefly by state Rep. Scott Perry (R-92) and state Sen. Richard Alloway (R-33), was championed by the National Rifle Association and is being viewed as a major victory by advocates like Jack Lee, president of Pennsylvania's Rifle and Pistol Association.
"It has been a long and hard effort by many of our friends in the state House and Senate. We all need to personally thank them for their support, and I can‘t say enough about the work that was done and the blood, sweat and tears that were shed by (members of) the NRA and other active pro-gunners throughout Pa," Lee said.
State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Elk/Clearfield) was one of the bill's cosponsors.
"The signing of this bill into law is long overdue, but nevertheless welcome for those of us who have cosponsored this legislation from the start. This bill is important because it places innocent victims first," Gabler said. "This dispels the notion that a would-be victim has a duty to retreat before exercising a right to self-defense. 
"I’m very honored and proud to have had the opportunity to take part in the creation of this new law that will make Pennsylvania safer for law-abiding citizens.”
The "duty to retreat" is in reference to the pre-existing law, which held that an individual had to be in the process of retreating from an attacker or intruder before the use of deadly force was justifiable. The new law eliminates that requirement.
Sandy Stark of Force said she supports the new law.
"There are situations where you can't retreat...someone has children in bed asleep, they can't retreat. If I had my grandchildren staying overnight, I would do whatever it took. I would prefer if the person would just leave, but if they won't, I would be capable of shooting them," Stark said.
A St. Marys resident who wished to remain anonymous said the new law would help people stay safe.
"Everyone has a gun around here. They'll think twice about breaking in if they know there's a gun on the other side of that door," he said.
The new law is not without its opponents, though. Dale Griffith of Emporium said he feels that individuals should not be encouraged to take the law into their own hands.
"When seconds count, the police are only seconds away," Griffith said.


Castle Gun Law

August 29, 2011 by caddyjoe (not verified), 4 years 16 hours ago
Comment: 233

I'm so glad to see this bill passed
it's about time….People Should have the right to defend themselves
with deadly force in there home or on there property.

and Mr Griffith this is Far from encouraging people to take the Law into there owen hands.
and seconds away I don't think so….A lot can happen in Seconds.

again I't about Time People can Defend there family in there owen home or property
with deadly force if Needed

Castle Doctrine...Death to Pennsylvania!

August 27, 2011 by justmovinalong (not verified), 4 years 2 days ago
Comment: 232

Well, here we are on the dawning of a new time in Pennsylvania where no one is safe to knock on a neighbors door, wave to a friend from your porch or drive downtown! This Saint Marys resident, as well as the other hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, know that this absolutely dangerous Republican bill will just bring nothing but trouble, tragedy and death to thousands of innocent people!! It is a very sad, sad day here in Pennsylvania and I hope the NRA is really happy with themselves knowing so many innocent people will be killed by being allowed to carry guns around needlessly!! We live in a time where ALL guns need to be abolished and destroyed!! We do not go out and kill our food and do not need any form of firearm!! God help us all!!

"When seconds count, the

August 27, 2011 by sfcgragg (not verified), 4 years 2 days ago
Comment: 231

"When seconds count, the police are only seconds away,"???

That is nothing more than a "motto" to make you feel safe. A great many of us are fifteen to twenty minutes (or more) from any police. And, although I laude the effort the police regularly provide, when seconds REALLY count, normally you only have yourself, and your training to count on.

Therefore the comment from Mr. Griffith is more of a misnomer than the rule!

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