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Firing gun in home yields weapons charge for Virginia Beach man

Gun control is a big topic right now. In the wake of several horrible mass shootings in recent months, efforts have gotten under way in a lot of states of the union to try to firm up the rules and regulations governing gun sales. The debate has even led Vice President Joe Biden to weigh in. He recently recommended that if someone wants to fend off an intruder who may be bent on committing a potentially violent crime, the best thing to do is to "fire a shotgun through the door."

It's not clear whether a Virginia Beach man had that advice in his head during an incident late last month, but he followed it. Now, he's facing a weapons charge.

What reportedly happened is this. The man was in his house when his dog started behaving oddly. According to police, the man apparently entered his own bedroom in the course of checking out what was going on and saw two masked individuals attempting to get in through an open window.

Police say the man told them that the intruders pointed guns at him and that he feared for his life. In reaction, he left the room and closed the door. He then got a shotgun and fired through the door. He is said to have then entered the room and fired a couple of more shots toward the window.

The suspects reportedly fled the scene and were nowhere to be found when police showed up in response to a call about shots being fired. Perhaps that's why authorities opted to accuse the homeowner of reckless handling of a firearm. No one was hurt in the altercation and no other homes were damaged by the shots fired. The man is free but faces a summons to answer for the charges against him.

What this reflects is that it's impossible to know what is likely to elicit the filing of criminal charges by authorities. Consequences can be serious if the charges go unanswered and a conviction is obtained. They should always be met by a vigorous legal defense.

Sources: WAVY-TV, "Man charged for firing gun in home," Feb. 25, 2013; The Washington Times, "Shooter takes VP Joe Biden's advice - and lands in trouble with cops," Cheryl K. Chumley, March 1, 2013

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