- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2013

A 64-year-old Utah man arrested for shooting at burglars fleeing his property, and subsequently was forced to pay a fine and surrender his gun, is now receiving support from neighbors who see him more as a hero than a criminal.

Layton, Utah, resident Loran Hubbard, 53, finds the whole arrest and reckless endangerment charge of Clare Niederhauser — who in January fired at two burglars who were attempting to break into his property with a crowbar — ridiculous, according to a report on Breitbart.

“He tried to act in a way that is responsible and compassionate and keep his head about him,” she said in the Breitbart report. “We have the right to defend ourselves when we are confronted with a lethal weapon. If a big crowbar isn’t a lethal weapon, I haven’t seen one.”

Other neighbors see Mr. Niederhauser’s arrest as a dangerous precedent that will warn other residents off taking defensive action during threatening situations, Breitbart reports.

Mr. Niederhauser is a legal gun owner with a concealed weapons permit for his .357-caliber handgun, Breitbart reports. He told investigators he only fired at the fleeing burglars as a warning; he actually aimed at the burglars’ tires, he said, according to the Breitbart report. But Layton police said he still broke the law.

“You’re not authorized to shoot a firearm at a car just because you don’t want it to get away, or to scare them, or disable a tire,” said Layton police Lt. Shawn Horton, according to Breitbart.

At court, Mr. Niederhauser agreed to forfeit his .357-caliber gun, take a weapons class and pay a $700 fine, Breitbart reported.