A Washington man who fired his shotgun into the air to scare away alleged car prowlers pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, citing Vice President Joe Biden’s questionable gun advice as the reason he took that specific action.
Jeffery Barton, 52, of Vancouver, Wash., is charged with one count of illegal aiming or discharging a firearm. He was arraigned in Clark County Court on Wednesday.
Barton admitted to firing his weapon in the air while chasing away people he thought were breaking into his vehicles early Monday morning, according to law enforcement officials. Deputies have not been able to find any evidence of prowlers on Barton’s property, but are looking into a large party that got out of control that same night.
“I did what Joe Biden told me to do,” Barton told KOIN outside the courtroom on Wednedsay. “I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”
Now, one might think that the advice of the vice president of the United States would be at least somewhat reliable — or at least reliable enough that when you take that advice, you won’t end up in jail.
However, taking Biden’s advice on guns could mean criminal charges.
“If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barreled shot gun,” Biden said in a previous interview.
“I said ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here…put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,” the vice president added. “I promise you, whoever is coming in is not gonna– you don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use and, in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun.”
TheBlaze also thoroughly debunked Biden’s claim that an AR-15 is harder to “aim” and “shoot.” Read that story here.
Other than just being reckless advice, it is also illegal in some cases.
“[S]heriff’s deputies told KOIN 6 News Wednesday that current law does not afford people the right to just fire off their gun. There must be a self-defense component, along with a life-threatening situation — none of which appeared to be the case here, they said,” KOIN-TV reports.