A bill that nearly became law last year has been reintroduced in the Pennsylvania Senate.
The so-called “Castle Doctrine” measure, which expands an individual’s right to deadly self-defense, passed the Senate and House by wide margins last year, but was vetoed by Gov. Ed Rendell.
Senate sponsor Richard Alloway, a Republican, is hoping for a fast vote. “I actually spoke with leadership last week, face-to-face. And they told me that they want to move this bill quickly. They support it. It has strong support in the Senate. It passed 45-4 last year,” he said.
Critics call the “Castle Doctrine” bill “a solution in search of a problem,” arguing few, if any, people have been prosecuted recently for protecting themselves against attackers.
“I don’t disagree with them on their issue when they say rarely is a person who defends himself going to get charged with a crime,” responded Alloway, “What’s happening is, maybe you’re not getting charged with a crime, but the person who was the attacker ends up either suing you or his family sues you for some type of wrongful injury. And then they get a settlement. So they benefit from their wrongdoing.”
Gov. Tom Corbett has said he’d sign the measure.
The Castle Doctrine is one of several bills being reintroduced this month. Other old – but new measures include a call for more regulation of high school football players suffering concussions, a tax on natural gas drilling, and a measure paving the way for a constitutional convention overhauling state government. A bill making changes to Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law statutes, which was vetoed along with the Castle Doctrine measure last year, has already cleared a House committee.