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State House Adopts Castle Doctrine Measure, Tobash Says

Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks) today voted in support of legislation known as the “Castle Doctrine” that reinforces a person’s right of self-defense in the face of an intruder.


“A person who is under attack in his or her own home or vehicle should not have to retreat or try to guess what the attacker’s intentions may be before taking action – that could mean the difference between life and death for the victim,” Tobash said. “This legislation ensures people have a right to defend themselves.”


House Bill 40 creates in law a presumption that an attacker or intruder intends to do great bodily harm and therefore force, including deadly force, may be used to protect oneself, one’s family and others in the face of an attack while at home or in an occupied vehicle. The presumption also applies if a person is trying to unlawfully remove an occupant, against the occupant’s 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, or a parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle. In addition, the presumption would not apply if a person was using their home or vehicle to further criminal activity. 


The bill also offers specific protection against civil liability for the lawful use of force in self-defense. 


House Bill 40 now goes to the Senate for its consideration.


State Representative Mike Tobash

125th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Patricia Hippler

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