Rendell vetoes self-defense bill Posted: Nov 27, 2010 2:26 PM EST [/i]<em class="wnDate">Saturday, November 27, 2010 2:26 PM EST</em> Updated: Nov 27, 2010 2:51 PM EST <em class="wnDate">Saturday, November 27, 2010 2:51 PM EST</em>[/i] [/align] HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Gov. Ed Rendell on Saturday vetoed legislation that would have broadened the self-defense rights of gun owners, saying it would have threatened not enhanced the public safety of Pennsylvania citizens.
The so-called "Castle Doctrine" would have removed the "duty of retreat" in current law, and would have allowed a person to use deadly force outside of their home or in their car in certain circumstances. It would have also offered immunity against civil lawsuits to those who used deadly force against an intruder or attacker.
"I support the state's existing Castle Doctrine which enables Pennsylvanians to protect themselves in their homes; however, I have grave concerns with the expansion included in this legislation," Rendell said in a statement. "We should have the right to protect the sanctity of our homes at all times. This legislation has nothing to do with the right to protect one's home, but seeks to expand the Castle Doctrine to outside the home."
The legislation was an amendment to legislation to overhaul Megan's Law so that convicted sex offenders who are homeless would have been required to register with state police, and report in person to state police on a weekly basis until they have a home.
The state Superior Court has twice ruled that the penalty provisions in Megan's Law for failing to register cannot be applied to a person who is homeless.
Rendell said he supported the changes to Megan's Law and would have signed the bill without the "Castle Doctrine" amendment.
"The bill as passed encourages the use of deadly force, even when safe retreat is available, and advances a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality," Rendell said. "I do not believe that in a civilized society we should encourage violent and deadly confrontation when the victim can safely protect themselves."