Turns out the “advice” the nation’s veep gave this week regarding firing ‘warning shoots’ from a shotgun if you feel threatened might get a Delaware gun owner in trouble with the law. Oops! Via US News:
Vice President Joe Biden might want to have a talk with his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, before he makes another public statement about guns.
In a Facebook “chat” Tuesday, the vice president said that he had advised his wife, Jill, to fire a shotgun in the air from their Delaware home’s porch if she was concerned for her safety.
“I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,’” Biden said.
“You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim,” he added, “it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”
However, Delaware law would likely make his suggestion illegal—unless the shots were fired in self-defense in a truly life-threatening situation.
A sergeant with the Wilmington, Del., police department explained to U.S. News that city residents are not allowed to fire guns on their property.
The sergeant, who preferred not to be identified, said that Wilmington residents are also not allowed to shoot trespassers. “On your property you can’t just shoot someone,” he said. “You have to really feel that your life is being threatened.”
Defense attorney John Garey—a former Delaware deputy attorney general—agreed, and added that several criminal charges might result if Jill Biden took her husband’s advice.
“In Delaware you have to be in fear of your life to use deadly force,” Garey said. “There’s nothing based on his scenario alone” indicating a reason to fear imminent death, he noted.
Garey said that under Biden’s scenario, Jill Biden could be charged with aggravated menacing, a felony, and reckless endangering in the first degree.
“You cannot use deadly force to protect property” in Delaware, added Garey.
“It is not uncommon” for people to be charged with crimes under similar circumstances, he said. “I’ve seen cases where lawful citizens have used guns outside their homes and they end up arrested.”
Rob Wiltbank, a gun rights advocate who founded Delaware Open Carry in 2008, told U.S. News he agrees with the vice president that a shotgun would be good for home protection, but he was also troubled by the hypothetical.
“It would be incredibly irresponsible of a gun owner to blindly discharge a firearm into the air,” said Wiltbank. “What goes up, must come down and this specific behavior has been the cause of many negligent homicides over the years.”
Tom Shellenberger, a lawyer who serves as a spokesman for the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, told U.S. News that Biden’s security tip was “the worst type of advice.”
The Vice President of the United States is the man our celebrity President put at the head of the “gun control task force” in the aftermath of the horrific Sandy Hook elementary shooting murders in Newtown, CT, yet he apparently doesn’t know the gun laws in his own state. Telling. Both of the VP and the Prez. And not in a good way.