Without debate, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a new Castle Doctrine bill expanding self-defense rights and sent it to Governor Tom Corbett for his signature. Governor Corbett will sign the bill, said a spokesman.
The Senate approved the expanded Castle Doctrine by a vote of 45-5, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Under current law, a person can use deadly force -- without retreat -- in his or her home. Outside the home, using lethal force to defend oneself requires first taking steps away from an assailant. The new bill allows someone to shoot an attacker without retreat outside the home -- anywhere a person is legally allowed to be.
Supporters called it "stand your ground" legislation. Critics call it "shoot first" legislation.
Senator Richard Alloway II, a Republican who sponsored the bill, is quick to point out that although the National Rifle Association was the driving force behind the legislation, it is "not a gun bill. It's a personal safety bill."
"I don't know why anyone would draw distinction between someone attacking [you] in your home and someone attacking you on the street when you're walking your dog," said Senator Richard Alloway II, a Republican who sponsored the bill, who also said he believes self defense is a God-given right.
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