Castle Doctrine Measure Heads to Governor’s Desk, Causer Says

Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) is pleased that legislation reinforcing a person’s right to defend himself or herself in the face of an intruder is on its way to the governor’s desk.


“In current law, a person under attack in his or her own home has to retreat before taking action in self defense – that simply does not make sense,” Causer said. “I hope the governor will sign this measure into law, further solidifying our citizens’ Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”


The so-called “Castle Doctrine” creates in law a presumption that an attacker or intruder intends to do great bodily harm and therefore force, including deadly force, may be used to protect oneself, one’s family and others in the face of an attack while at home or in an occupied vehicle. The presumption also applies if a person is trying to unlawfully remove an occupant, against the occupant’s will, from a home or vehicle. 


The presumption would not apply if the person entering a home was: 

  • Another resident of the home.
  • A law enforcement officer.
  • A parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle. 


In addition, the presumption would not apply if a person was using their home or vehicle to further criminal activity. The bill also offers specific protection against civil liability for the lawful use of force in self-defense. 


House Bill 1926 also makes changes to the state’s Megan’s Law, outlining requirements for the registration of sex offenders who are homeless and applying criminal penalties for failure to register to sex offenders who were required to register in their home states and subsequently move to Pennsylvania and are required to register for a lifetime.


The bill passed by a vote of 161-35 and now awaits the governor’s signature.


Rep. Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(814) 362-4400

(717) 787-5075

Member Site:
Contact:  Patricia A. Hippler

House Republican Public Relations

(717) 772-9846