Firearms Charge Against Man Who Used ‘Joe Biden Defense’ To Be Dismissed


It looks like the “Joe Biden defense” worked.

A prosecutor said he plans to dismiss a firearms charge against the Washington state man who said he just “did what Joe Biden told me to do” when he fired a shotgun to scare off what he thought were car burglars, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik said that Jeffrey C. Barton will instead face a charge of obstructing a police officer. A trial for Barton is scheduled for October.

Barton has acknowledged that he fired the gun in July 2013 to deter three men he thought were breaking into cars in Vancouver, Wash. His unorthodox defense came from the vice president’s comments on firearms during a 2013 town hall, when Biden told a questioner that he’d advised his wife, Jill, to “fire two blasts outside” from a double-barrel shotgun if she sensed any trouble at the family home.


Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at