Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday relayed the self-defense tips he gave his wife, Jill Biden. As it turns out, his advice could land her behind bars. In response to a questioner during a Facebook town hall, Biden said, “I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.’”
Delaware law, however, prohibits residents from firing guns on their own property if they are not doing so in a life-threatening situation, according to U.S. News and World Report.
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.
The report notes that, based on the scenario sketched by the vice president, his wife could be charged with aggravated menacing, a felony, and reckless endangerment because, according to Garey, “You cannot use deadly force to protect property.”
Ironically, Delaware attorney general Beau Biden, the vice president’s son, would be charged with enforcing the law.