HARRISBURG (CBS) – The Pennsylvania state senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would expand the rights of Pennsylvania residents to use deadly force in self-defense.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved an amendment expanding self-defense rights and a final vote on the amended bill is expected today. The House has already approved the same language, but did so in a different bill, so the House would have to vote on the matter a second time if the Senate bill passes.
Like the House, the Senate also rejected language that would have closed the so-called “Florida Loophole” that allows people to carry a gun if they have an out-of-state permit even if they’ve been denied a permit in Pennsylvania. Critics call the self-defense bill “shoot first” legislation, but Philadelphia Senate Democrat Anthony Williams says right now, it’s the criminals who are shooting first:

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“There’s far too many reports across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where someone is confronted with a weapon by someone who’s going to do you harm and not ask questions.”

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Governor Rendell says he’s not yet formulated a position on the issue.

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Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio