AUDIO: Senate Passes Alloway Castle Doctrine Legislation


HARRISBURG – The Senate passed legislation today sponsored by Sen. Richard Alloway II (R-33) to expand the Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania to protect gun owners who act in self-defense.

Senate Bill 273 would remove the “duty to retreat” clause when an individual is threatened by an attacker in any place that individual has a right to be, including the individual’s home or vehicle. The bill would provide important protections against criminal prosecution or civil litigation for those who act to defend themselves, Alloway said.

“This vote is a major victory for responsible gun owners who take action to prevent dangerous criminals from threatening others,” Alloway said. “I am deeply thankful that my colleagues offered broad bipartisan support for this common-sense measure to protect gun owners.”

An individual would need to demonstrate a reasonable belief that he or she was in imminent danger in order to use lethal force. The legislation was amended to ensure that the Castle Doctrine applies only to individuals who legally possess a firearm and does not apply if used against a peace officer.

“Critics have characterized this legislation as ‘shoot first and ask questions later,’ but nothing could be farther from the truth,” Alloway said. “These amendments to the bill will help ensure that the Castle Doctrine can only be applied to responsible gun owners who take action to protect human life.”

The General Assembly passed legislation expanding the Castle Doctrine in 2010 by an overwhelming margin, but then-Governor Rendell vetoed the bill. Governor Tom Corbett and leaders in the House of Representatives have voiced support for expanding the Castle Doctrine to protect law-abiding gun owners.

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