Joe Biden’s advice is his defense, says a man arrested for shooting his shotgun off in the air. The Washington state man says that he fired his shotgun into the air on his property to scare people. In his defense, he says, he was just doing “what Joe Biden told me to do.”
Jeffrey Barton, a 52-year old Washington state resident, plead not guilty after being charged with illegally discharging his firearm, The Hill reports.
He argues that he was just following the vice president’s advice. Barton claims that he just “went outside and fired my shotgun in the air,” like Biden said to do.
Barton is talking about an online question-and-answer session held by Joe Biden earlier this year, CNN says.
In the session, the vice president says assault weapons and large magazines are not needed for home defense. Instead, Biden says that a shotgun is more than enough.
“If you want to protect yourself, get a double barrel shotgun,” said the vice president. With a shotgun, Biden said, you can just “walk out and put that double barrel shot and fire two blasts outside the home.”
Biden’s statements came after being assigned by President Obama to head a task force on gun violence in the US. Obama’s desire to address gun violence and stricter gun control laws follows the tragic Newton massacre. The shocking November incident has since lead to a national discussion about guns.
The advice given by Biden was meant to counter arguments made about the need for assault weapons and big ammo magazines for self-defense.
Taking the vice president’s advice, Barton says he used his shotgun defensively. The Washington man says that people from a nearby party were trying to break into his car. Police have not found proof of this yet.
Vice President Joe Biden has not yet commented on the incident. Below is a clip from the question-and-answer session in which Joe Biden gave the questionable legal advice: