- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2015

A local jury in Washington state has convicted a man who justified his firing a gun to scare away possible robbers by saying he was simply following instructions from Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

The jury found Jeffrey Barton guilty of obstructing a police officer - a charge arising from a July 2013 incident in which Mr. Barton reportedly chased down prowlers who had allegedly been rifling through his car, punched one in the face, and fired three rounds from a shotgun, according to The Columbian.

“I did what Joe Biden told me to do,” Jeffrey Barton, 53 had told reporters. “I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”

Prosecutors later dismissed a charge of illegally discharging a firearm but charged him with obstructing an officer, for which Mr. Barton was recently convicted.

His previous statement was a reference to Mr. Biden’s advice made in the wake of the December 2012 Newtown school shootings.

“If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun,” Mr. Biden said, responding to questions from readers of Parents Magazine.

He said he’s advised his wife, Jill, to “fire two blasts outside the house” if there’s ever a problem.

“You don’t need an AR-15 - it’s harder to aim. It’s harder to use and in fact in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun,” Mr. Biden said then.

Deputy prosecutor Greg Harvey said when sheriff’s deputies arrived, Mr. Barton was angry and didn’t listen to commands, while Mr. Barton’s lawyer denied that his client was being aggressive.

Mr. Barton now says he’s leaving his home as a result.

“You folks have a good time in Clark County because once all that’s said and done, I’m out of here,” he said, according to the paper. “That’s what you get for exercising my Second Amendment rights and protecting my family.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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