Pennsylvania Self Defense Rights Are On The Line

Pennsylvania Self Defense Rights Are On The Line
Critical Legislative Alert Support Castle Doctrine law

At Issue: Discharge Petition and Floor Action – House Bill 40

Allegheny County Sportsmen's League
Allegheny County Sportsmen's League

McDonald, PA –-( For nearly 6 years we have ‘all’ been working to improve the use of force laws (known as Castle Doctrine) here in Pennsylvania so that gun owners would feel that they would be treated fairly ‘if’ they have to use force to defend their families with lethal force.

Unfortunately we have been frustrated by the idiosyncrasies of Pennsylvania politics. Again, we want ‘nothing more’ than what other states have: reasonable legislation that will provide important protections for ‘law-abiding’ citizens who must use protective force when confronting criminals. Thousands of volunteer organizations’ dollars and thousands of man-hours have been dedicated to this effort. Grassroots leaders of Pennsylvania gun rights organizations have bent over backwards trying to be fair in a good faith effort to accommodate critics of this important legislation.

Sadly, this legislation has been held hostage by a shrill minority in the legislature consisting of the Philadelphia Legislative caucus and certain agencies.

They are using their political connections to thwart the desire of the people. The people want a vote and they want this bill on the governor’s desk for signature ASAP-THIS SESSION. It is unconscionable to have tremendously popular legislation, with nearly 2/3 of the House of Representatives as co-sponsors, be denied a timely, fair, and honest vote.

The Pennsylvania organizations that support this legislation (identified below) are fully aware of the parliamentary options that are available to leadership to advance this legislation and we ask your support to encourage legislators and leadership to speedily resolve these issues and move this legislation with all possible haste-THIS SESSION!

Our organizations are receiving many complaints from individual gun owners, such as you, about legislative ambivalence and antipathy towards this concept and HB 40. Our members, officers, and board members insist upon a more proactive stance and firm and definitive action on the part of legislators whom we have supported. To this end we know there will be a vote on a discharge petition in the House of Representatives on Monday, September 27, and we encourage you to stress the importance of their support for not only this effort but also any other effort to advance House Bill 40 (Castle doctrine) through the legislative process in the next few coming days.

The bill will be much more likely to pass and be put on the Governor’s desk IF we can count on you to generate help support. We know this is a last minute request and apologize for it but the broken promises of certain legislators in leadership has intentionally, we believe, left us with little time to maneuver. We have tried every reasonable method to break HB 40 free of this legislative log jam without bothering you, to no avail.

Now we are asking for your help once again!

**Please contact your legislator and members of the House of Representatives leadership and let them know that you not only support this legislation but that you want them to ‘swiftly’ move it through the House to the Senate and to the Governor.

To Review: The Bill: HB 40 does not change the use of force requirements. What it does do is eliminate the honest citizen’s duty to retreat when confronted by violent criminals and provide honest citizens with legal protection if they defend themselves from criminals. It contains an anti-carjacking provision that will change state law so that if a criminal illegally and forcibly enters an occupied vehicle, the presumption is that he intends to harm the passengers. Protections against civil actions are also provided, should your assailant or his relatives sue you for harming the criminal when you defended yourself and this includes protections for law enforcement as well.

This legislation has been enacted in twenty three states and eighteen of these states have also enacted ‘No Duty to Retreat’ and is pending in even more. Crime is down in these states.

Killers are more concerned about law-abiding citizens than police having firearms. This was proven in the Wright-Rossi study and more recently by the example that the Columbine killers (Dylan and Klebold) “shared opposition to a bill in the state legislature that would have made it easier to carry concealed weapons” (NYT, 6/29/1999).

The grassroots organizations in support of this bill are listed below:

  1. Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League (ACSL),
  2. Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs (PFSC),
  3. Pennsylvania Sportsmen’s Association (PSA),
  4. National Rifle Association (NRA),
  5. Gun Owners of America (GOA),
  6. Second Amendment Sisters (SAS),
  7. Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association (PR&PA),
  8. Pennsylvania Gun Collectors Association (PGCA)
  9. Lehigh Valley Firearms Coalition (LEVFC),
  10. Philadelphia Federation of Sportsmen’s Club,
  11. Pennsylvania Gun Owners Association (PGOA)
  12. Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania (USP)
  13. Pennsylvania State Fish & Game Protective Association,
  14. The Pink Pistols
  16. Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association (PAFOA)
  17. National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)
  18. Western Pennsylvania 30 Caliber League, Inc

**(FOAC) Firearms Owners Against Crime records all votes related to firearms and the constitutional connections thereof.

We thank you in advance for your help with this critical and time sensitive step forward for our Freedoms and we will do our BEST to keep you informed on the developments ahead!

Kim Stolfer -Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League
Harry Schneider – Pennsylvania Sportsmen’s Association

Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League: To promote and foster, by all lawful means, the protection and conservation of our renewable wildlife resources through hunting and fishing, together with all pertinent natural resources and to promote the improvement of hunting, fishing, and competitive shooting. Visit:

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