The 2020 census is a big time for strange social encounters. Volunteers cold-calling and knocking on doors for household information can feel invasive to some.

ABC News reports on a man who drew his gun against a person he believed was a trespasser.

Property defense or assault?

A man faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill after a census worker approached him while sitting on his porch.

The Floridian told the census worker to leave before fetching his assault-style weapon. The worker left after the man loaded a round.

It is unknown if the man threatened the census worker’s life, but the worker’s wife who sat in their car reports she saw the man pointing the weapon at her husband’s back while he left for the car. Both report hearing a gunshot shortly after getting into the car.

The man insists he did not know the man was a census worker and that he shot the loaded round into the ground to empty the chamber. Authorities report he is in jail on a $7,500 bond.

Who is in the right?

While the census is a vital task to count up the nation’s residents, each resident can defend themselves against perceived threats on their own property. This case in question brings up a lot of questions and confusion about perceptions and intentions. A felony assault charge like this can cost a person years of their life and thousands of dollars in fines. Violent crime cases like this can get sticky, especially when involving volunteer workers for the government, but everyone deserves their fair justice in the eyes of the law.