What House Bill 40 means
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is poised to sign into law a bill that expand peoples' right to use deadly force outside their homes or vehicles to defend themselves and their families.
Under House Bill 40, approved Monday by the state Senate, a person who is not engaged in criminal activity and who is attacked in any place where the individual has a right to be, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground. Under such circumstances, the person can use force, including deadly force, if:
• the actor has a right to be in the place where he was attacked;
• the actor believes the use of force is immediately necessary to protect against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or rape; and
• the person against whom the force is used displays or otherwise uses a firearm or replica of a firearm or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use;
• the actor is not illegally in possession a firearm;
• the person against whom the force is used is not a peace officer that the actor using the force knew or should have known was a peace officer.
Source: Raymond Smith, House Republican Public Relations