According to The Columbian newspaper, Jeffrey C. Barton, 53, chased off some prowlers about 3 a.m. on July 15, 2013, by punching one in the face and firing three rounds from his shotgun.
Barton said, “I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.” Biden has said that Americans don’t need to own semiautomatic weapons, because a couple of blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders.
“If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun,” Biden said during a question-and-answer video on whitehouse.gov, in which he tried to discourage a mother from buying an AR-15 rifle.
What Biden didn’t say was those blasts will probably draw the attention of police as well, as in Barton’s case.
Barton was originally charged with illegally discharging a firearm, a misdemeanor, but in August 2014, prosecutors dismissed the weapons charge and instead charged Barton with obstructing a police officer, also a misdemeanor.
At trial, because the call involved gunshots, deputies who arrived at the scene didn’t know if Barton was armed. One deputy said Barton was passively resisting them, thus the obstruction charge. A Clark County jury convicted him of the latter charge.
He’s set to be sentenced soon. The maximum punishment he could receive is a $5,000 fine, as well as up to a year in jail.
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