July 17th, 2013
08:36 PM ET
9 months ago

Man who fired off shotgun: Biden told me to do it

(CNN) – A Washington state man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to illegally firing a shotgun to scare people off his property, saying he was just following Vice President Joe Biden's advice.

Jeffery Barton, 52, said at his arraignment in Clark County that he thought people were trying to break into his car and fired his shotgun to frighten them away.

"I did what Joe Biden told me to do," Barton told CNN affiliate KOIN. "I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air."

In February, at the height of the gun control debate that dominated Washington following the Newtown elementary school shooting, Biden dispensed some general advice during an online question-and-answer session.

"If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barreled shot gun," he said.

He added that he tells his wife, Jill, that "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."

His comments were likely intended to underscore the position that shotguns were sufficient for self-defense, rather than high-capacity or semi-automatic weapons.

Barton faces one count of illegal aiming or discharging a firearm.

According to KOIN, officials are still investigating whether a large party got out of control near Barton's home and was possibly related to the incident. But they say there's no evidence, as of now, that there were people on Barton's property.


Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Joe Biden
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. HenryMiller

    Sounds like a perfectly good defence to me...

    July 17, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  2. thomas davie

    There has been a unwritten disclaimer for Joe ever since he became VP , and its to not take anything he says seriously. He is just being 'Joe' . Because of this, the homeowner has no excuse.

    July 17, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. Norma Vessels

    How stupid can Jeffery Barton get, for Pete's sake! What Vice President Biden said was not strict advice, but to let people realize that an semi-automatic gun would not be any more protective than a regular shot gun, or a hand gun, for that matter, but the man was not threatened bodily, so he had no business shooting a gun off where there were people around.

    July 17, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. James Hall

    Maybe Joe Biden's advice should be amended to fire two blasts from your shot gun to scare off the thieves but never admit to police you did such a thing or that you own a shot gun or let them search your house without a warrant and don't let your neighbors see you walking around with your shotgun afterwards. Or maybe don't fire the shotgun.

    July 17, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  5. ThatGuy

    Well, I expect a full Vice Presidential Pardon for sure.

    In reality though, most of the gun owning community scoffed at Biden's "advice", this guy is clearly one of those who didn't and has an sub 50 IQ.

    July 17, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  6. S. B. Stein

    I don't think that is really what the Vice President really meant.

    July 17, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. sonnie3

    Well Biden did make a statement that he should have thought about before it hit the air waves/ This is a big F=ing Deal!
    Now turn the microphone back on ,and say ,I screwed up Joe. This joe guy get his foot caught in the mouth more than any politician of recent time. Yes he wins that prize.

    July 17, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  8. just sayin

    somebody actually takes biden seriously??? now that is a scary thought. this guy should have his head examined, as should biden for uttering his ridiculous statement.

    July 18, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |