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Critical information every gun owner should know, including:
- WHERE YOU CAN AND CANNOT POSSESS A FIREARM?
- WHEN YOU CAN LEGALLY USE A FIREARM?
- NUMEROUS EXAMPLES OF HOW GUN LAWS IMPACT REAL LIVES.
- CLEAR EXPLANATIONS THAT SEPARATE MYTH FROM REALITY.
- PRACTICAL INFORMATION REGARDING HOW TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE.
- PLUS MUCH, MUCH MORE...
Written by experienced attorneys in easy-to-understand language
CAN I BE SUED IF I SHOOT SOMEONE IN SELF-DEFENSE?
No immunity from lawsuits
There is a common misunderstanding that there exists a law that if you are legally justified in using your gun that you can't be sued. This is just not the case. First, if a person has the filing fee, anyone can sue anyone else in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There is no one stopping anyone else from filing a lawsuit. Winning a lawsuit is a different issue entirely. If someone files the lawsuit, no matter how frivolous, it still must be dealt with, and it still must be shown to the court that this or that defense bars this lawsuit. This process can take significant time, money, and legal energy even for the most loser of cases. In short, lawyers get paid and even if you beat the "rap," you still have to take the civil "ride." So, if there is no immunity to lawsuits for gun owners, what protection is there?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "STAND YOUR GROUND?"
Criminal liability for allowing a minor access to firearms
In Pennsylvania, "Stand Your Ground" means no duty to retreat, and that's it! "Stand Your Ground" is fairly new to Pennsylvania law. It was enacted in 2011. It provides that if you are attacked in a place where you would normally have a duty to retreat, provided certain criteria are met, you "[have] the right to stand [your] ground and use force, including deadly force." As we discussed above, in Pennsylvania, there is generally a duty to retreat before using deadly force if it can be done with complete safety. Thus, the existence of no duty to retreat can be a powerful legal tool for any defendant.
DO IMMUNITY STATUTES REALLY WORK?
Immunity for certain claims Most important for gun owners if they find themselves included in a civil suit after a justified use of force will be 42 Pa.C.S. §8340.2.
This section provides that a person who uses force or deadly force that is justified under Chapter 5 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant's use of force or deadly force, as applicable. This statute does not prevent lawsuits; it just makes the ones filed harder to win. Immunity from liability is an affirmative defense, and, as such, this defense will be considered only after a plaintiff is well into the pain a civil suit may cause an innocent defendant. Immunity from a claim does not mean that a person cannot sue based upon their claim. It means immunity from damages if the defense is proven during the case.
CAN I BE CHARGED WITH A CRIME FOR SHOOTING A DOG BEFORE IT BITES ME?
Deadly force against dangerous dogs
Pennsylvania law specifically addresses the protective use of deadly force against dangerous dogs. Under 3 Pa.C.S. § 459-501, a person may kill any dog that is:
• pursuing, wounding or killing any domestic animal
• wounding or killing other dogs, cats or household pets; or
• pursuing, wounding or attacking a human being
IF YOU OWN A GUN, IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!
Every day, gun owners across Pennsylvania must use their firearm in self-defense. As a law-abiding gun owner in Pennsylvania, you or a loved one could become a victim of crime — anywhere. After speaking with gun owners all over the state, we found that they lacked the critical knowledge of law they’d require if forced to use their weapon. It’s our mission to change that.
As an organization of more than 180,000 law–abiding gun owners, we’ve seen time and time again that even the best intentioned, law abiding gun owner can end up in serious legal trouble. We’ve seen members go to jail for breaking laws they didn’t know existed. We’ve seen members get arrested for laws that don’t exist. If you own a gun, you absolutely need Pennsylvania Gun Law: Armed And Educated. This is the most comprehensive and understandable resource for Pennsylvania gun law. Don’t settle for anything less.