With the George Zimmerman trial and final verdict having drawn a significant amount of national attention, there has also been a large spotlight placed on the “Stand Your Ground” laws. Generally, the laws, which are enacted in about 20 states, allow citizens to use deadly force in self-defense. Although based on the same concept, known as the “Castle Doctrine”, these laws vary from state to state.
Pennsylvania’s “Stand Your Ground” Law, like other states, also allows for citizens to use deadly force as a defense outside of the home, in public spaces. Although it was confirmed that Pennsylvania’s “Stand Your Ground” Law had used Florida’s as its basis, Pennsylvania’s had been modified in a few ways. The most significant difference between the two states’ laws is that under Pennsylvania’s law a deadly weapon must be visible, and the law is specific in what can be categorized as a “deadly weapon.”