Legislation to expand the rights of Pennsylvania residents when protecting themselves and their families is headed to the desk of Gov. Tom Corbett.
The state Senate by a vote of 45-5 passed House Bill 40, which broadens the so-called "Castle Doctrine" to allow residents to use deadly force against an attacker in any place they have a right to be, including their workplace or vehicle.
The legislation removes the requirement that people try to retreat before using deadly force, and provides protection against criminal prosecution or civil litigation for those who act to defend themselves.
The law would apply only to those who legally possess a firearm, and they would need to demonstrate a reasonable belief that they were in imminent danger.
It would not apply if used against a law enforcement officer, another resident of the home, or a parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from a home or vehicle.
The bill also includes tougher penalties for individuals involved in trafficking stolen firearms.