The Pennsylvania House of Representatives this afternoon voted 159-38 to approve a bill that would significantly expand the right to self-defense in Pennsylvania.The bill now goes to the senate.
The was an increase of three for the bill over a special motion passed yesterday that prevented the attachment of a large number of anti-gun riders.
A roll call will soon be available here.
If the bill cannot make it through the senate, however, or if the votes are not available to override an expected veto by Gov. Rendell, the process will have to start afresh next year.
House Bill 40provides that “no person should be required to surrender his or her personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack outside the person’s home or vehicle.”
The bill declares that, with some exceptions such as the intruder being a police officer lawfully performing his duty, a person may may be presumed to have a belief in the need to use deadly force if he should find someone in his home or attempting to enter his home or vehicle.
The bill also spells out that a law-aiding citizen has “no duty to retreat” and has “right to stand his ground and use force, including deadly force if he “has a right to be in the place where he was attacked,” believes it necessary to do so “to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat” and “the person against whom the force is used displays or otherwise uses: a firearm or replica . . . or any other weapon readily or apparently capable of lethal use.”
The bill also provides for civil immunity for the use of force.