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Discussion Starter #1
I seen this in the paper yesterday morning. The Sentinel Online : News:Local : DA rules fatal Perry County shooting justified

In the paper the da states it is a myth that you can protect your property using deadly force. I looked at the laws and seen this. and the part where the da stated that you couldn't protect your property using deadly force was a quote under the da's photo in the paper. It isn't on the online version.

[url="http://www.acslpa.org/pa_uniform_firearms_act.htm" said:
http://www.acslpa.org/pa_uniform_firearms_act.htm[/url]](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 sub*paragraph (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 cre*ate 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.

*(Chgd. by L.1980, Act 1980-235; eff. 12/19/80.)
From reading that it looks like you are allowed to use deadly force if someone is stealing your property. Thoughts?
 

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That appears to be ACSL's (and probably others') interpretations of PA law. Know this: Many, if not most county DAs, do not interpret our laws this way.

Two years ago when the "Castle Doctrine" bill was being discussed, Dauphin Co. DA Ed Marsico clearly indicated that he and many other DAs opposed the bill.

Marsico stated on a TV news interview, that he felt DAs should be the ones to decide whether or not someone had justifiably used lethal force and didn't want such a law passed in PA.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
is there a website to get the actually firearms laws for pa?
 

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We are not taling about firearms laws on this issue, deadly force is not relegated to firearms only, the use of deadly force is under title 18, the PA crimes Code. The firearms laws are also in title 18 chapter 60.
 

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bigben said:
From reading that it looks like you are allowed to use deadly force if someone is stealing your property. Thoughts?
Regardless of what the crimial law may or may not state, the only circumstance where I would use deadly force against an intruder would be inside my home to protect myself or family members.

It is almost a certainty that if you shoot a thief or intruder outside your home you will face a hefty civil suit
and lose most or all of your possessions.

I am all for 2nd amendment rights, but I do not believe in the shoot-em-up mentality for trespassers or thieves that pose no immediate danger to my person.
 

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If my memory serves, most of the "Castle Doctrine" bill was aimed at easing our laws in the area of "responsibility to retreat", not in protecting property, per se?

Under current law as interpreted by DAs and the courts, one is expected to retreat if possible when threatened, rather than resort to lethal force.

This would primarily apply to anything occuring outside of one's home. There is no expectation for a person to retreat inside of their home if threatened, under most circumstances.
 

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18 Pa.C.S. § 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
so a question for ya. in the newspaper article it stated the owner of a beer distributor entered his store after seeing the front door broken into. He walked into the store and after inside seen a person coming towards him with a hammer and then he fired a single shot to the chest to protect himself. The da stated that he was justified because it was protection of himself and not the contents of the store or his property. if this man had been inside raiding the cash register and he shot him and killed him would it be justified?

this is just disscussion fellas. if I seen someone stealing my truck four wheeler or even something inside my home I would leave the bad guy take it until it turned personal.

thinking on this a bit more. is this law more for the fact that if someone comes to you and presents a knife and demands your wallet rather then stealing something out of your home or even a garage?
 

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If he had no reason to believe that any less force could be utilized without putting himself into danger...yes

Laws will always be open to interpretation....the problem is...some of the people interpreting these laws feel their word is final, even though they are neither judge nor jury.
Basically it goes by, when committing homicide, you are putting your faith in the hands of some one else to determine if its justifiable.
 

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Ben, that is correct, the guy comming at him with a hammer is what justified the shooting, at that point it was more than protection of property, it was using deadly force to protect himself against a person advancing with a weapon that can be used as a deadly weapon.
 

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In case you missed it, the Perry Co. DA originally made a big deal out of the owner entering the store, instead of waiting for the police to arrive. For the uninitiated, PSP response time up there is not all that rapid, or even guaranteed.

The DA also mentioned several times, that he would base his final decision whether or not it was justifiable force, on the police investigation, which riled up quite a few locals. Fortunately for the store owner, the video clearly showed the intruder advancing on him with a hammer.

While I don't endorse "vigilante justice", some of this stuff is pretty ridiculous. Once caught some guys trying to siphon gas on a rental property I was responsible for at the time and I'm sure they were the same pair that had been doing it regularly there.

Sent them packing, wrote down their vehicle reg. number, retrieved their 5 gal. can and siphon pump from the brush and called our twp. cops. They were no help at all, gave me heck for not keeping them there along with some gas in the can, as proof of a crime. Our fabulous police chief said it would their word against mine, if they tried to charge them. Well, no kidding?

He also told me to let them get some gas in the can and "hold them there", if they came back. I said no problem, they'll be here...concious or unconcious. That got him upset, told me if I did anything like that, he'd have to arrest me. My response: At least it wouldn't be wasted time fer ya, like my calling the first time.

 

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The proper conjugation of the verb 'see', is I saw not I seen....my kids do it all the time saying 'I said 'I've' a (contraction of I have) but you never hear the 've part.
Really just grates on the ear.
Sorry, had to get that out...must be the bourbon & branch influence.
 

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LCSMITH20 said:
The proper conjugation of the verb 'see', is I saw not I seen....my kids do it all the time saying 'I said 'I've' a (contraction of I have) but you never hear the 've part.
Really just grates on the ear.
Sorry, had to get that out...must be the bourbon & branch influence.
Where did I type "I seen" ?
 

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Uh oh, another Grammar Fascist!


Hey, most of us kin talk'n speel reel good if'n we want to, but it ain't really a necessary part of the interplay here, in my opinion.

Even the school teachers that regularly worked with me in construction over the summer, eventually reverted to "red neck speak" after some time? 'Course most of them were science and math teachers, come to think of it?





 

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If you see a guy carrying your favorite "boom-box" down the street and you chase him down and put a bullet into him , you'll probably find yourself behind bars for some time.
 

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DennyF said:
Uh oh, another Grammar Fascist!


Hey, most of us kin talk'n speel reel good if'n we want to, but it ain't really a necessary part of the interplay here, in my opinion.





Thank goodness for that. If correct spelling, proper punctuation and sentence structure were a prerequisite for posts on here, I would still have newbie under my display name.
 

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Just remember, if you use deadly force, even it's ruled as justifible, that's something you'll have to live with the rest of your live. However, please dont let that cause you to hesitate in a life or death situation.
 

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let me ask this question: why would you want to use deadly force to protect property? Would you really want to take a man's life over a car or some other material thing?
 

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fjp110 said:
let me ask this question: why would you want to use deadly force to protect property? Would you really want to take a man's life over a car or some other material thing?
Would I? probably not.
But if a man breaks into my house, different story.
How about someone opens the door to your car and says get out (you dont see a weapon) are you protecting yourself or property?
 
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