The man is believed to have grabbed a legally owned gun after they were disturbed by the break-in early yesterday.
He is understood to have fired at the intruders who then fled the isolated house at Melton Mowbray, Leics, before calling the police.
Minutes later, an ambulance was called to treat a man with gunshot injuries nearby. It is understood that call was made by one of the suspected burglars.
The arrested man's mother said: "This is not the first time they have been broken into.
"They have been robbed three or four times. One of them was quite nasty.