The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Charges dropped against Jeffrey C. Barton

At RECOIL, we review every product fairly and without bias. Making a purchase through one of our links may earn us a small commission, and helps support independent gun reviews. Learn More

You may recall Jeffrey C. Barton, who followed “Scattergun Joe” Biden's advice for home defense last year. He's the the Vancouver WA man who discharged a shotgun into the air when he thought someone was trying to break into his vehicle.

According to Clark County's The Columbian, Clark County prosecutors are dropping a misdemeanor firearms-related charge against Barton, whose defense became a worldwide story (and fuel for further mockery) when he used the “Joe Biden defense” by saying,

 “I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”

Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik explained.

“A person, even in a no-shooting zone, still has the right to defend their person or their property. In this case, based on the facts, there is a reasonable argument that Mr. Barton may have been defending his person and property when he fired in the air.”

Charges dropped against Jeffrey Barton

Interestingly, prosecutors will pursue an obstruction charge. Further explanation of that is not yet available, nor did the story mention whether an NRA provided lawyer (who represented Barton in court against the firearms charge) would also be involved in the obstruction charge.

Barton, who last year told press he felt Vice President Biden owed him an apology, also said,

“I was protecting my family. I was within my Second Amendment right. I chose not to take a life that night. I fired my gun in the air.”

Though defense of hearth and home is absolutely one of the reasons for the Second Amendment, most if not all firearms professionals would agree the Vice President's statement was an exercise in jackassery. It was ill advised at best, stupid at worst. By no means does Biden's less than sage counsel or Barton's Second Amendment right excuse recklessness. Discharging an unaimed weapon into the air looks great in a movie if you need to make a dramatic point. It's cinematic and usually very effective. In real life however it violates numerous precepts of safety and proper weapon handling and can result in injury or death; you're accountable for where your rounds (or pellets) go.

Uninformed or careless people doing stupid things does not help our defense of the Second Amendment. (Granted, we should not have to be defended, but this is the reality we live in.)

Thankfully Biden's myopic advice and Barton's apparent lack of common sense and training resulted in nothing but more damaging than loud noise and some headlines.

Maybe somebody should buy both Barton the Vice President a copy of Mike's DVD.

You can read the original story here online.

Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Free