Joe Biden’s Shotgun Advice Likely Against Delaware Law
In a speech earlier this week, Vice-President Biden said that had given his wife some self-defense advice:
WASHINGTON–Vice President Joe Biden’s weapon of choice for personal protection: a shotgun, he said yesterday during a forum on gun violence hosted by Facebook and Parents Magazine. “Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun,” he said.
Biden also smacked down a questioner who said drug bans did not work, so why would a gun ban “be different,” noting no one in the Obama team is suggesting a gun ban–and what’s the alternative ” we just legalize all drugs? …..That would go real well in Parents magazine.”
Biden used a pragmatic approach in arguing for a ban on assault weapons and a limit on the number of bullets in magazine clips, aiming at those who say they need the firepower for self-defense: “You don’t need an AR-15”–a semi-automatic rifle– if there is a problem at home because “it’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use,” he said.
Biden owns two shotguns at home–referring to his Delaware residence–and in taking a question during the forum said “if you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun, have the shells — a 12-gauge shotgun — and I promise you — as I told my wife — we live in an area that’s wooded and somewhat secluded.
“I said, Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you: Whoever’s coming in is not going to — you don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun.”
However, Delaware law would likely make his suggestion illegal—unless the shots were fired in self-defense in a truly life-threatening situation.
A sergeant with the Wilmington, Del., police department explained to U.S. News that city residents are not allowed to fire guns on their property.
The sergeant, who preferred not to be identified, said that Wilmington residents are also not allowed to shoot trespassers. “On your property you can’t just shoot someone,” he said. “You have to really feel that your life is being threatened.”
Defense attorney John Garey—a former Delaware deputy attorney general—agreed, and added that several criminal charges might result if Jill Biden took her husband’s advice.
“In Delaware you have to be in fear of your life to use deadly force,” Garey said. “There’s nothing based on his scenario alone” indicating a reason to fear imminent death, he noted.