Recently, Vice President Biden raised some eyebrows by suggesting that we should "fire warning shots" if we were scared that someone was invading our home. Unfortunately, this advice is contrary to most city firearm laws, and according to self defense experts may put your life at risk. In this case, it is better to know the facts before you act.
Recently, President Obama, placed Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a federal gun crime task force, whose sole purpose is to identify, and ebb potential gun crimes before they happen.
In the wake of the terrible tradgedies at Newtown, and Aurora, CO, it is not hard to see why the Feds may be concerned with prevention. Some of the ideas that have been brought to the table as a result of this task force, are more extensive background checks, longer waiting periods, and a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban of 1998.
While arguments can be made both ways in this matter, the reality is that something, is coming down the pipes.
In order to ease the process, Biden has recently began using subtle campaign techniques called "fire side chats;" an ode to the days of FDR, and the waning years of the Great Depression. These "chats" have been held on an online forum, where Biden accepts questions, and interacts with viewers via Internet camera.
It was during one of these online events that Biden, who is all too familiar with foot in mouth political speaking; made a suggestion that made legal minded individuals scream a collective "What!?"
In response to a question from a female participant, questioning the legal ideology of self defense, a subject tied closely to guns and gun control; Biden gleamed from behind a Cheshire smile and stated " If you want protection, get a shotgun. Just go outside on your porch if you feel threatened, and fire off two shells as a warning. That will scare anybody away."
People immediately began to chime in on this statement, this article will focus on the legality of the statement.
First, it should be noted that almost all cities have strict laws about discharging firearms in city limits. Now, if your life is being threatened, and you fire a shot in valid self defense, that is different. You will have to consult your local law enforcement to u determine what, if anything is self defense in your jurisdiction. However, you can assume for all intensive purposes that discharging "warning shots" will land you behind bars, or facing a hefty fine. As a matter of fact, discharging a firearm in Dover, DE, Bidens hometown, will earn you a $15,000 fine and up to one year in jail!
The second thing to note, is that going out of your home if you feel you are in danger, is not advised by any police officer or self defense expert. Also, if you feel your life is in danger, and you leave a safe place to confront the attacker, you effectively wave your right to claim self defense.
So what should you do?
What you should do if you feel like someone is trying to get into your house, is notify police immediately! Secure all doors and windows, then get yourself and your family into a "safe room." A safe room can be any room with few windows, and a locking door. If you do have a gun, take it with you to the safe room, and use it only as a last resort. Make sure you identify the target before you shoot. For example, if you are armed and hiding, and someone is trying to gain entry, simply yell "I don't know who you are, I am armed and I'm going to shoot." Most people who know you, or anybody with a room temperature IQ will make a hasty retreat.
Firearms are an important figure in our American society. Like it or not, we must learn to coexist with guns, and we must do so in a legal manner.