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VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Washington state man who fired a shotgun in the air to chase away car prowlers says he was following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden.

Jeffrey Barton, of Vancouver, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Clark County court to a charge of illegally discharging a firearm. The 52-year-old fired the shot Monday when he thought people were breaking into his vehicles.

Outside of court, Barton said, I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.

In an answer to a home defense question in February, the vice president said Americans don't need semi-automatic weapons because a couple of blasts from a shotgun will scare off intruders.

Sheriff's deputies said that's not allowed except in self-defense.

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