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Thread: IMPORTANT PA RESIDENTS-HB641- Castle Doctrine

  1. #1
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    i saw this on another forum. this is very important if you guys want to see this happen




    There is a vote in the Judiciary tomorrow Dec. 11th.

    I have included an email alert and emails for the legislaters on the commitee in comma seperated form to paste the email adresses into your email program.

    This is very important if you would like to see a Castle Doctrine in PA.

    ACT NOW!!!


    Email Addresses (Paste into your email with a subject and letter in support of this bill):
    tcaltagi@pahouse.net,rmarsico@pahousegop.com,dleach@pahouse.net,dkula@ pahouse.net,jpetrarc@pahouse.net,jwhite@pahouse.ne t,tcreight@pahousegop.com,cdally@pahousegop.com,je vans@pahousegop.com,wgabig@pahousegop.com,ggrell@p ahousegop.com,bmackere@pahousegop.com,trock@pahous egop.com,ktrue@pahousegop.com,tpickett@pahousegop. com,jpallone@pahouse.net,dwalko@pahouse.net,sramal ey@pahouse.net,cmantz@pahousegop.com,kharper@pahou segop.com,boneill@pahousegop.com,kmanderi@pahouse. net,lbenning@pahouse.net,dfrankel@pahouse.net,hjam es@pahouse.net,gvitali@pahouse.net,jwilliam@pahous e.net,cwagner@pahouse.net,blentz@pahouse.net

    Scroll to the right to copy them all.


    Here is a link to the alert: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/...41&pn=0702

  2. #2
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    I would love to do this but not too sure what to say in the email. Do you have a copy I can use. Or should I just wing it??

  3. #3
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    this is what one of the other guys wrote. its basic and simple:

    "Good day to you all,

    May I ask that you please give me the rights to protect my family and others as detailed in this piece of legislation.

    Thank you"

    or like you said just wing it



  4. #4
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    This is what I got back when I e-mailed them this morning.

    From; Vitali, Greg [GVitali@pahouse.net]



    Philadelphia District Attorney's Association: PDAA opposes House Bill

    641 and urges public hearings.



    Text of Dec. 7 press release.





    The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association urges the House Judiciary Committee to hold public hearings before voting on House Bill

    641 in a hastily scheduled meeting on Monday, December 10. This bill would increase handgun violence in Pennsylvania by encouraging people with firearms to shoot their victims more quickly by removing the duty to retreat from our self-defense statute. A recent case in Pasadena, Texas is testing the limits of a similar law that Texas just enacted, where a neighbor who was in no danger shot and killed two alleged burglars in his neighbor's yard as police were arriving. We don't need any more incentives to shoot people in our state.





    House Bill 641, misnamed "the castle doctrine" legislation, has been introduced to legalize alleged self-defense killing even when the killer knows that the killing is unnecessary to save a life. This bill eliminates Pennsylvania's centuries-old "duty to retreat" that states that if someone whose life is threatened can safely do so, they must retreat and avoid the unnecessary taking of human life. The PDAA urges the General Assembly to vigorously oppose this legislation.





    The true "castle doctrine," (not HB 641) which relieves residents of the duty to retreat before using deadly force to protect their homes from intruders, is current law. See 18 Pa.C.S. 506(b)(2)(ii)(A)("the actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling or place of work, unless he

    was the original aggressor ... "). Advocates for House Bill 641 cannot

    point to a single case where current law failed to adequately protect a Pennsylvania resident's right to defend his or her home. Our current statute safeguarding that right is strong, and this bill does nothing to further strengthen it; instead, the bill produces several disastrous consequences making the streets and highways of our state more dangerous than ever.





    It has been one of the highest principles of civilized society that the use of deadly force on our streets should be the choice of last resort; killing another human being should never be the first option when it is entirely possible to avoid the situation in complete safety. It is not unreasonable to require a person to try and avoid the taking of a life before we as a society will condone and excuse a killing as an act of self-defense. The days of the "Wild West" where two armed gunman could face off on the street at high noon and the winner would walk away under a claim of self-defense should remain a distant memory of a more

    barbaric time in this country's history.





    This bill will protect gang killers from prosecution. The largest impact of House Bill 641 will be to provide most gang killers in this Commonwealth with a ready-made defense that will be very difficult for the Commonwealth to defeat. Many homicides occur when one gang encounters a rival gang on the street - or even when one drug gang member encounters a member of another gang. When fatal shootings occur, our prospects of successfully prosecuting the gang killers are reasonable because current law's duty to retreat negates the killers'

    inevitable self-defense claims. Without the duty to retreat, gang killers will have a potent, often-winning courtroom argument that they had to shoot the rival gang members in order to defend themselves, even

    though the shooting could have been avoided altogether.





    Please remember that these gang killers are often not good shots. House Bill 641's Dodge City protections for gang killers apply with equal force whether the ultimate victim is a rival gang member or an innocent 10-year-old school child a block away. The killers of the young boy, Faheem Thomas-Childs, asserted self-defense to justify their shooting at rival gang members. The veteran homicide prosecutor who tried Faheem's killers, Mark Gilson, has indicated that, had House Bill 641 been in place at the time that young schoolboy was killed, Faheem's killers may

    well have been acquitted and back on the streets today. To quote Mr.

    Gilson, if the duty to retreat "is removed, then many violent ruthless

    killers will be permitted to get away with murder."





    Protecting road rage killers from prosecution. The disconcerting increase in road rage killings potentially affects every community in our Commonwealth. Many road rage killings occur when tempers flare and irate, hot-tempered motorists threaten and menace each other. If one driver is larger than the other, or has a tire iron in his hand for example, the other feels he's facing a potentially life-threatening situation. However, an unnecessary killing in such situations often can be avoided by the threatened driver simply putting his foot on the gas

    pedal and driving away.





    But House Bill 641 provides the driver - who could have safely driven away from the scene - another, entirely legal alternative: grab the

    handgun and shoot the other driver in the head. With the duty to

    retreat taken away, our ability to prosecute these entirely unnecessary killings will be substantially hindered. This is not the time to be throwing fuel on the fire of deadly road rage. The responsibility of government is to make our highways safer, not to provide new legal

    protections to road rage killers.





    The bottom line is this: House Bill 641 will give potent new legal weapons for gang killers and road rage killers to avoid responsibility for the taking of human life. Again, I urge you to oppose this legislation, which will without a doubt make Pennsylvania a more dangerous place for all our citizens, or at the very least, convene public hearings to enlighten and inform the legislators and the public about this critical public safety risk.





    Contact: Christopher Mallios, PDAA Legislative Liaison, 215-686-5873





    -30-



  5. #5
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    I'll admit that I have to agree with the majority of what is in that response e-mail. When gun owners already can claim valid self-defense when their safety is threatened, what else do we need?

    Put me down as opposed to this legislation. I don't want Joe Horn as my neighbor.

  6. #6
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    I have a bad habit of sometimes asking a silly question. So in this case I decided to remain quiet until I could assertain my assumptions. It was not until tonight that I was able to dig up some information regarding the "castle law" that I was rather sure PA had in effect. I will have to concur that I feel (for a change) that the current law is sufficient enough in this area. And the addition of this law would only be redundant. And possibly harmful to those of us with enough sense to seek the most moral outcome of all situations.

  7. #7
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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I'll admit that I have to agree with the majority of what is in that response e-mail. When gun owners already can claim valid self-defense when their safety is threatened, what else do we need?

    Put me down as opposed to this legislation. I don't want Joe Horn as my neighbor.
    our current laws. DUTY TO RETREAT. "In those jurisdictions where the requirement exists, the burden of proof is on the defence to show that the defendant was acting reasonably. This is often taken to mean that the defendant had first avoided conflict and secondly, had taken reasonable steps to retreat and so demonstrated an intention not to fight before eventually using force." why must we run away if we are the ones being threaten? why must we defend what we did if we're not the BG? the burden of proof is on us, that is BS. IMO

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    i think Joe Horn is inapplicable; Joe's house was not invaded; his neighbor's house was robbed, and Joe went outside to apprehend them and apparently killed them as they were running away from the neighbor's house.

    While we may know more about Joe's case as it proceeds, the facts known now appear outside the scope of HB 641.

    Further, I think this idea of a duty to get away by vehicle is exactly what we don;t want - a duty to retreat in the way of a self-defense claim after the fact.

    And does anybody believe that gangland shooters are going to be "enabled" by HB 641? Come on!

  9. #9
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    Mike wrote:
    i think Joe Horn is inapplicable; Joe's house was not invaded; his neighbor's house was robbed, and Joe went outside to apprehend them and apparently killed them as they were running away from the neighbor's house.

    While we may know more about Joe's case as it proceeds, the facts known now appear outside the scope of HB 641.

    Further, I think this idea of a duty to get away by vehicle is exactly what we don;t want - a duty to retreat in the way of a self-defense claim after the fact.

    And does anybody believe that gangland shooters are going to be "enabled" by HB 641? Come on!
    It should also be noted that Joe Horn's defense rests on unique provisions of Texas law not a part of the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground campaign that authorizes the use of deadly force to prevent nonviolent property crimes. The proposed legislation in PA mirrors the law Florida passed in 2005, whcih, despite the PDDA's scare tactics, is not resulting in unpunished gang shootouts or the rehashed list of the same disasters that were supposed to come after shall-issue laws were passed.

    What is important, however, is that current PA law imposes a special duty to retreat outside your home that may place you at the mercy of a hostile DA who wants to play Monday morning quarterback with your case--who thinks that when some thug accosted you and demanded your wallet without actually showing you his gun or knife (i.e., a strongarm robbery), your only legal response was to hand over your wallet instead of reaching for your gun.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

  10. #10
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    khmer_gentleman wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I'll admit that I have to agree with the majority of what is in that response e-mail. When gun owners already can claim valid self-defense when their safety is threatened, what else do we need?

    Put me down as opposed to this legislation. I don't want Joe Horn as my neighbor.
    our current laws. DUTY TO RETREAT. "In those jurisdictions where the requirement exists, the burden of proof is on the defence to show that the defendant was acting reasonably. This is often taken to mean that the defendant had first avoided conflict and secondly, had taken reasonable steps to retreat and so demonstrated an intention not to fight before eventually using force." why must we run away if we are the ones being threaten? why must we defend what we did if we're not the BG? the burden of proof is on us, that is BS. IMO
    Cite?

  11. #11
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    Mike wrote:
    i think Joe Horn is inapplicable; Joe's house was not invaded; his neighbor's house was robbed, and Joe went outside to apprehend them and apparently killed them as they were running away from the neighbor's house.

    While we may know more about Joe's case as it proceeds, the facts known now appear outside the scope of HB 641.

    Further, I think this idea of a duty to get away by vehicle is exactly what we don;t want - a duty to retreat in the way of a self-defense claim after the fact.

    And does anybody believe that gangland shooters are going to be "enabled" by HB 641? Come on!
    Joe Horn's case is applicable because he was emboldened by the new legislation. He makes it clear in his 911 call that he feels he should be allowed to kill the burglars because of the new Texas law. Look through the True Tales of "Self-Defense" forum for examples of castle doctrine laws' being used to justify very questionable cases of self-defense.

    Am I saying that castle-doctrine laws are bad? Of course not. But I feel that a reasonable duty to retreat is a good idea. It makes people have to think twice before using deadly force. I'll admit that the "enabling gangland shooters" argument is ridiculous, though...

  12. #12
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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    khmer_gentleman wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I'll admit that I have to agree with the majority of what is in that response e-mail. When gun owners already can claim valid self-defense when their safety is threatened, what else do we need?

    Put me down as opposed to this legislation. I don't want Joe Horn as my neighbor.
    our current laws. DUTY TO RETREAT. "In those jurisdictions where the requirement exists, the burden of proof is on the defence to show that the defendant was acting reasonably. This is often taken to mean that the defendant had first avoided conflict and secondly, had taken reasonable steps to retreat and so demonstrated an intention not to fight before eventually using force." why must we run away if we are the ones being threaten? why must we defend what we did if we're not the BG? the burden of proof is on us, that is BS. IMO
    Cite?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_to_retreat

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/retreat-duty-to-rule

  13. #13
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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    i think Joe Horn is inapplicable; Joe's house was not invaded; his neighbor's house was robbed, and Joe went outside to apprehend them and apparently killed them as they were running away from the neighbor's house.

    While we may know more about Joe's case as it proceeds, the facts known now appear outside the scope of HB 641.

    Further, I think this idea of a duty to get away by vehicle is exactly what we don;t want - a duty to retreat in the way of a self-defense claim after the fact.

    And does anybody believe that gangland shooters are going to be "enabled" by HB 641? Come on!
    Joe Horn's case is applicable because he was emboldened by the new legislation. He makes it clear in his 911 call that he feels he should be allowed to kill the burglars because of the new Texas law. Look through the True Tales of "Self-Defense" forum for examples of castle doctrine laws' being used to justify very questionable cases of self-defense.

    Am I saying that castle-doctrine laws are bad? Of course not. But I feel that a reasonable duty to retreat is a good idea. It makes people have to think twice before using deadly force. I'll admit that the "enabling gangland shooters" argument is ridiculous, though...
    but according to our current laws. we should always have to run away everytime we are threaten. of course only using deadly force as a last resort. so if i think i can out run a BG with a knife then i'm suppose to. if anything our laws protect BG's.

  14. #14
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    khmer_gentleman wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    khmer_gentleman wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I'll admit that I have to agree with the majority of what is in that response e-mail. When gun owners already can claim valid self-defense when their safety is threatened, what else do we need?

    Put me down as opposed to this legislation. I don't want Joe Horn as my neighbor.
    our current laws. DUTY TO RETREAT. "In those jurisdictions where the requirement exists, the burden of proof is on the defence to show that the defendant was acting reasonably. This is often taken to mean that the defendant had first avoided conflict and secondly, had taken reasonable steps to retreat and so demonstrated an intention not to fight before eventually using force." why must we run away if we are the ones being threaten? why must we defend what we did if we're not the BG? the burden of proof is on us, that is BS. IMO
    Cite?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_to_retreat

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/retreat-duty-to-rule
    So how does that define Pennsylvania law? I can say that you are a space alien, then back myself up with the Wikipedia definition of "extraterrestrial being", but that's irrelevant.

    Here is the relevant PA law, not generalized law:

    Code:
    § 505.  Use of force in self-protection.
    (a)  Use of force justifiable for protection of the person.--
    The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable
    when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary
    for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of
    unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.
    (b)  Limitations on justifying necessity for use of force.--
    (1)  The use of force is not justifiable under this
    section:
    (i)  to resist an arrest which the actor knows is
    being made by a peace officer, although the arrest is
    unlawful; or
    (ii)  to resist force used by the occupier or
    possessor of property or by another person on his behalf,
    where the actor knows that the person using the force is
    doing so under a claim of right to protect the property,
    except that this limitation shall not apply if:
    (A)  the actor is a public officer acting in the
    performance of his duties or a person lawfully
    assisting him therein or a person making or assisting
    in a lawful arrest;
    (B)  the actor has been unlawfully dispossessed
    of the property and is making a reentry or recaption
    justified by section 507 of this title (relating to
    use of force for the protection of property); or
    (C)  the actor believes that such force is
    necessary to protect himself against death or serious
    bodily injury.
    (2)  The use of deadly force is not justifiable under
    this section unless the actor believes that such force is
    necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily
    injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force
    or threat; nor is it justifiable if:
    (i)  the actor, with the intent of causing death or
    serious bodily injury, provoked the use of force against
    himself in the same encounter; or
    (ii)  the actor knows that he can avoid the necessity
    of using such force with complete safety by retreating or
    by surrendering possession of a thing to a person
    asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a
    demand that he abstain from any action which he has no
    duty to take, except that:
    (A)  the actor is not obliged to retreat from his
    dwelling or place of work, unless he was the initial
    aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by
    another person whose place of work the actor knows it
    to be; and
    (B)  a public officer justified in using force in
    the performance of his duties or a person justified
    in using force in his assistance or a person
    justified in using force in making an arrest or
    preventing an escape is not obliged to desist from
    efforts to perform such duty, effect such arrest or
    prevent such escape because of resistance or
    threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person
    against whom such action is directed.
    (3)  Except as required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this
    subsection, a person employing protective force may estimate
    the necessity thereof under the circumstances as he believes
    them to be when the force is used, without retreating,
    surrendering possession, doing any other act which he has no
    legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.
    (c)  Use of confinement as protective force.--The
    justification afforded by this section extends to the use of
    confinement as protective force only if the actor takes all
    reasonable measures to terminate the confinement as soon as he
    knows that he safely can, unless the person confined has been
    arrested on a charge of crime.
    § 506.  Use of force for the protection of other persons.
    (a)  General rule.--The use of force upon or toward the
    person of another is justifiable to protect a third person when:
    (1)  the actor would be justified under section 505 of
    this title (relating to use of force in self-protection) in
    using such force to protect himself against the injury he
    believes to be threatened to the person whom he seeks to
    protect;
    (2)  under the circumstances as the actor believes them
    to be, the person whom he seeks to protect would be justified
    in using such protective force; and
    (3)  the actor believes that his intervention is
    necessary for the protection of such other person.
    (b)  Exceptions.--Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this
    section:
    (1)  When the actor would be obliged under section 505 of
    this title to retreat, to surrender the possession of a thing
    or to comply with a demand before using force in self-
    protection, he is not obliged to do so before using force for
    the protection of another person, unless he knows that he can
    thereby secure the complete safety of such other person.
    (2)  When the person whom the actor seeks to protect
    would be obliged under section 505 of this title to retreat,
    to surrender the possession of a thing or to comply with a
    demand if he knew that he could obtain complete safety by so
    doing, the actor is obliged to try to cause him to do so
    before using force in his protection if the actor knows that
    he can obtain complete safety in that way.
    (3)  Neither the actor nor the person whom he seeks to
    protect is obliged to retreat when in the dwelling or place
    
    § 507.  Use of force for the protection of property.
    (a)  Use of force justifiable for protection of property.--
    The use of force upon or toward the person of another is
    justifiable when the actor believes that such force is
    immediately necessary:
    (1)  to prevent or terminate an unlawful entry or other
    trespass upon land or a trespass against or the unlawful
    carrying away of tangible movable property, if such land or
    movable property is, or is believed by the actor to be, in
    his possession or in the possession of another person for
    whose protection he acts; or
    (2)  to effect an entry or reentry upon land or to retake
    tangible movable property, if:
    (i)  the actor believes that he or the person by
    whose authority he acts or a person from whom he or such
    other person derives title was unlawfully dispossessed of
    such land or movable property and is entitled to
    possession; and
    (ii)  (A)  the force is used immediately or on fresh
    pursuit after such dispossession; or
    (B)  the actor believes that the person against
    whom he uses force has no claim of right to the
    possession of the property and, in the case of land,
    the circumstances, as the actor believes them to be,
    are of such urgency that it would be an exceptional
    hardship to postpone the entry or reentry until a
    court order is obtained.
    (b)  Meaning of possession.--For the purpose of subsection
    (a) of this section:
    (1)  A person who has parted with the custody of property
    to another who refuses to restore it to him is no longer in
    possession, unless the property is movable and was and still
    is located on land in his possession.
    (2)  A person who has been dispossessed of land does not
    regain possession thereof merely by setting foot thereon.
    (3)  A person who has a license to use or occupy real
    property is deemed to be in possession thereof except against
    the licensor acting under claim of right.
    (c)  Limitations on justifiable use of force.--
    (1)  The use of force is justifiable under this section
    only if the actor first requests the person against whom such
    force is used to desist from his interference with the
    property, unless the actor believes that:
    (i)  such request would be useless;
    (ii)  it would be dangerous to himself or another
    person to make the request; or
    (iii)  substantial harm will be done to the physical
    condition of the property which is sought to be protected
    before the request can effectively be made.
    (2)  The use of force to prevent or terminate a trespass
    is not justifiable under this section if the actor knows that
    the exclusion of the trespasser will expose him to
    substantial danger of serious bodily injury.
    (3)  The use of force to prevent an entry or reentry upon
    land or the recaption of movable property is not justifiable
    under this section, although the actor believes that such
    reentry or caption is unlawful, if:
    (i)  the reentry or recaption is made by or on behalf
    of a person who was actually dispossessed of the
    property; and
    (ii)  it is otherwise justifiable under subsection
    (a)(2).
    (4)  (i)  The use of deadly force is justifiable under
    this section if:
    (A)  there has been an entry into the actor's
    dwelling;
    (B)  the actor neither believes nor has reason to
    believe that the entry is lawful; and
    (C)  the actor neither believes nor has reason to
    believe that force less than deadly force would be
    adequate to terminate the entry.
    (ii)  If the conditions of justification provided in
    subparagraph (i) have not been met, the use of deadly
    force is not justifiable under this section unless the
    actor believes that:
    (A)  the person against whom the force is used is
    attempting to dispossess him of his dwelling
    otherwise than under a claim of right to its
    possession; or
    (B)  such force is necessary to prevent the
    commission of a felony in the dwelling.
    (d)  Use of confinement as protective force.--The
    justification afforded by this section extends to the use of
    confinement as protective force only if the actor takes all
    reasonable measures to terminate the confinement as soon as he
    knows that he can do so with safety to the property, unless the
    person confined has been arrested on a charge of crime.
    (e)  Use of device to protect property.--The justification
    afforded by this section extends to the use of a device for the
    purpose of protecting property only if:
    (1)  the device is not designed to cause or known to
    create a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily
    injury;
    (2)  the use of the particular device to protect the
    property from entry or trespass is reasonable under the
    circumstances, as the actor believes them to be; and
    (3)  the device is one customarily used for such a
    purpose or reasonable care is taken to make known to probable
    intruders the fact that it is used.
    (f)  Use of force to pass wrongful obstructor.--The use of
    force to pass a person whom the actor believes to be
    intentionally or knowingly and unjustifiably obstructing the
    actor from going to a place to which he may lawfully go is
    justifiable, if:
    (1)  the actor believes that the person against whom he
    uses force has no claim of right to obstruct the actor;
    (2)  the actor is not being obstructed from entry or
    movement on land which he knows to be in the possession or
    custody of the person obstructing him, or in the possession
    or custody of another person by whose authority the
    obstructor acts, unless the circumstances, as the actor
    believes them to be, are of such urgency that it would not be
    reasonable to postpone the entry or movement on such land
    until a court order is obtained; and
    (3)  the force used is not greater than it would be
    justifiable if the person obstructing the actor were using
    force against him to prevent his passage.
    of work of the other to any greater extent than in his own.
    arrested on a charge of crime.

  15. #15
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    This would be a great thing for all law abiding Pennsylvanians !!!

    ~~Springfield



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