An important piece of legislation being considered by the PA senate is creating a wealth of dis-information to be spread by anti-gunners and some media. The overriding theme to their dis-information is that HB40, better known as the Castle Doctrine, will lead to more gun violence and provide legal escape routes for criminals.
HB40 reduces the Pennsylvania citizen’s need to “retreat” in the face of a violent confrontation. It does not completely remove the need to retreat, nor does take away from the need to show intended serious bodily harm before using lethal force. HB40 doesn’t promote a “shoot first, ask questions later,” mentality.
A person involved in a shooting, will still need to prove that they felt in immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm. What the bill does do is support the basic foundation of Law of our country, that a person is “innocent until proven guilty” and puts the burden of proof on law enforcement where it belongs.
The key portion of the Castle Doctrine, which is in my opinion the most important part, is that a person using a firearm in justifiable defense cannot be sued in civil court. I find it ridiculous that if a person legally defends himself in a violent criminal encounter, that he should then be subject to a lawsuit by the perpetrators family for denying said shit-bag his rights.
If my family is subject to a home invasion and I terminate the criminal’s career, I did so because of his negligence, not mine. There is no reason why, after being found justified in using force, I should be found civilly responsible to provide for the criminal’s family.
I truly hope that our State leaders will listen to the masses who have voiced their opinion that the Castle Doctrine should be made law. As citizens of a great and free country, we should not have to retreat from our homes or places of business and we should not have to be held civilly liable for the illegal actions of others.