What Doesn’t Work: Taking legal advice from Vice President Joe Biden: “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.” It doesn’t work because you might be charged with a felony if you actually do walk out of your house and discharge a firearm. See the true story here.
What Works: Knowing the firearm laws in your state. In Utah it is illegal to discharge a firearm in the direction of a person, vehicle, or habitable structure unless you are in lawful defense of a person or your habitation in limited circumstances. A violation is a 3rd degree felony punishable by not less than three nor more than five years in prison. Other weapons violations include, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, possessing a firearm or dangerous weapon in an airport secure area, or possessing a firearm or dangerous weapon wile under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
As stated in the story linked to above, the man was attempting to scare off some people who were trying to break into his vehicles. If he had been in Utah and he fired in their direction he could be charged with felony discharge of a firearm. If he fired in the air he could also be charged with discharging a firearm near a building if the building was within 600 feet.