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Old 01-14-2012, 09:12 PM   #21
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Pennsylvania was added to the distinguished states of Castle Doctrine last year thanks to our current Governor Tom Corbett. It would have been sooner, but in his last outgoing deed as past governor, "Fast Eddie" Rendell vetoed the bill when it came across his desk after the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted for it. Good riddance!

The guys that have told you some of the info on Castle Doctrine which is amongst the provisions as a whole are pretty much right on. One no longer has to retreat first before using deadly force. Also, at here within our legislation, it extends the right to protect to outside of the home itself within your property boundaries. It also allows the same protection while on the move in the manner of travelling anywhere on foot or in the car, on a bicycle, etc. The liability protection goes with you.

No legislation gives anyone the carte blanche of just blasting away without good reason. At least with this law on the books, one can rest a bit easier.

If anyone wants to view the Pennsylvania law in it's entirely (and it's printable), go to our Commonwealth web site and search HB 40. I keep a copy hanging in my gun shop office for anyone to read.

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:17 PM   #22
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I know that in Oregon and Washington, the intruder can be shot upon crossing the threshold. Meaning you have to wait until they finish bashing your door or window in and come inside. Then its fair game. Whats not allowed is the protection of property. I.E. some jerk sculking around in my back yard cannot be shot without my life being in danger. I aslo can't shoot someone trying to steal my car. So I have to let them steal it, stand in front of the car while theyre trying to leave and then shoot them through the windshield... thats perfectly legal. ...and kind of stupid.

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Old 01-15-2012, 09:25 PM   #23
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I know that in Oregon and Washington, the intruder can be shot upon crossing the threshold. Meaning you have to wait until they finish bashing your door or window in and come inside. Then its fair game. Whats not allowed is the protection of property. I.E. some jerk sculking around in my back yard cannot be shot without my life being in danger. I aslo can't shoot someone trying to steal my car. So I have to let them steal it, stand in front of the car while theyre trying to leave and then shoot them through the windshield... thats perfectly legal. ...and kind of stupid.
The issue you are talking about largely is offense against property vs. offense against person. Even under Castle Doctrine, you just cannot look outside and see someone attemting to steal your car and open fire. You would have to confront them and them not flee and NOT give themselves up to you where there would be a preceived personal threat at that point to justify using deadly force. It's the same out of the home where you see someone trying to steal your motorcycle parked at a shopping mall vs. an attempt to cyclejack you stopped at a red light. To jack your vehicle is considered to be an act of violence as well as an offense against property. Hot wiring your Harley at the mall isn't.

The entire issue comes down to your "allowable" use of deadly force to protect your property or the property of another against threats where there is a reasonable degree of possibility of personal jeopardy in the process. Castle Doctrine, or any older existing law for that matter, doesn't negate the laws regarding permissible use of deadly force which even LEOs have to abide by. In the event of the actual use of deadly force, the district attorney will still look at the entire picture and determine if the force was applicable under the law as it stands.

Someone skulking around your property, i.e., a prowler, would be no different, except that if you confronted him outside of the home armed and he didn't flee and acted hostile, you could use deadly force outside of the actual dwelling under Castle Doctrine if, again, there was a perception of personal danger to you or another. Even under the protection of the better legislation, the DA will still look at the nuts & bolts of the scenario to determine if the incident was covered under the law.

The example you use of someone actually stealing your car and you standing in front of it while they attempt to get away with it would be them using the car as a deadly weapon to make good their getaway. They would actually have to try to run you down with it, or at least be in the early stage of doing that, to have it applicable. That would mean them putting it in DRIVE, not REVERSE. Sitting in it even running and it being motionless wouldn't apply. There are precedents on the books in many states of a motor vehicle being classified as a deadly weapon under certain circumstances like this, so the use of deadly force in return would be justified. And, yes. Kinda stupid to put yourself in jeopardy to do. It would have to be one helluva nice car.

Regardless of what laws cover you as a private law abiding armed citizen where you live, there still has to be restraint to non violent acts perpetrated against property. Trust me. If I saw someone trying to steal my Jeep, anything but new as it is, I'd be REAL tempted to empty a mag into them just on general principle, but you can't.

One last thing that many never consider. If it is them or me, it'll be them, hopefully. Still and all, you are talking about the taking of a life. Deserved as it may be, it WILL have a profound effect on you, possibly for the rest of your life. Unless you are sociopathic, it will change your life forever. There have been cops that have to take life that never got over it, justified as the action was at the time. That being said, and while I haven't taken life myself, I know of what I speak, do you still want to take out someone that is stealing something material rather than physically threatening you? It is something to consider. Life is precious. A lawn mower isn't.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:17 PM   #24
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i am glad that in Texas we have the Castle Law. i don't feel a person should have to retreat their own home to avoid a confrontation from someone breaking in to do harm or steal. it's my home, not theirs! i should be afforded the right to stand my ground and defend it, even to the extent of being able to use deadly force if it is warranted.

someone mentioned, that if the BG wasn't inside the home to move the body. this would probably be a bad thing to do, and could cause you more grief and legal problems than you would want to imagine. evidence tampering, staging the crime scene and other things come to mind. all of which could land you into hot water. i heard this many years ago, about moving the body inside the house if they were outside. i wouldn't suggest or recommend this as they can tell if the body has been moved. and if there is such evidence of it being done, it puts you in a place of suspicion of what really happened. IMO, very bad idea and advise.

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Old 01-16-2012, 05:58 PM   #25
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someone mentioned, that if the BG wasn't inside the home to move the body. this would probably be a bad thing to do, and could cause you more grief and legal problems than you would want to imagine. evidence tampering, staging the crime scene and other things come to mind. all of which could land you into hot water. i heard this many years ago, about moving the body inside the house if they were outside. i wouldn't suggest or recommend this as they can tell if the body has been moved. and if there is such evidence of it being done, it puts you in a place of suspicion of what really happened. IMO, very bad idea and advise.
Well said.

In any case, castle doctrine state or not, whether what you've had to do was illegal or not, The best thing to do is call the police immediately and don't touch a damned thing. If it turns out you just broke the law, it comes down to how you handled the situation afterwards and that makes all the difference in court.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:51 PM   #26
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Lucky all of you.Here in Puerto Rico the criminality is overwhelming and we are not blessed with the Castle Doctrine.Iam a deputy marshal and if you kill someone in self defense you are going to trial anyway.If a citizen want a carry gun permit he has to justify in a trial in court why he need it.Here in Puerto Rico the state laws says that carry a firearm is a privilege not a right.Can you believe that?

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:05 AM   #27
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guess I'd better hope that nobody breaks into my house- I'm in one of the white zones

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:40 AM   #28
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JonM<><><><><><>A common misconception about castle laws is that you can shoot anyone just because they are in your home. What castle law is a presumption of innocence if a home owner uses lethal force for self-defense against an unlawful intruder.

That’s a big difference.

The shooting still has to rise to the level of self-defense or defense of others. You can’t just shoot your neighbor who just stepped in the door to say hello because he is in your house.

The main purpose of most castle doctrine laws is it shifts the onus from the homeowner proving it was self-defense to the prosecution proving it wasn’t. Second part of most laws is if a shooting is found justified prevents the goblin or its relatives from suing the victim for damages caused by the goblin.

There is no free pass in any state to just blast the crap out of anyone you feel like that steps in your door regardless of what the media claims

JonM, your reply is well thought out and presented well But, as you well know these laws have different languages for each state, although you are correct in stating that “You can’t just shoot your neighbor who just stepped in the door to say hello because he is in your house” since this is hypothetical, To add more .IF a neighbor or anyone for that matter “just came into my house unannounced, would be dealt with as the crack head breaking in. if I am in fear for my/family’s wellbeing I, a Texan have no duty to retreat I am allow to stand my ground. This also goes for my car, truck or whatever, the vehicle falls into the same category as my home or “Castle “. Does this mean I or anybody with a working brain cell will shoot the mailman/woman person(for the PC police) I think not.

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Old 01-20-2012, 04:04 AM   #29
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Now, with the Castle Doctrine, you are not required to retreat ... The lady would be well within her rights.
If you read the description of her situation carefully, I think it's pretty clear that she actually did retreat, at least to some extent. Armed assailant spend over 20 minutes breaking through your locked and barricaded door. A reasonable person would NOT conclude that he was coming to borrow a cup of sugar! She would probably have been justified in self defense even in the 11 brain dead states with more restrictive laws.

Thank God she and her child are OK. By the way, kudos to the GSL who provided her with an awesome replacement gun while hers is in the evidence room!
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:21 PM   #30
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everyone in every state should have the right to defend themselves in their own home, and not have to retreat. it's your home, why should you have to retreat just because some scumbag wants to break in and steal your property or possibly do harm to you or your family? these criminals know what is right or wrong, and could care less about your property or welfare, so with that thought in mind, IMO, they deserve what ever happens to them. if some breaks into your home, they ain't there to visit with you!

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