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12-12-13, 10:45 AM #1
Colorado town considers allowing residents to shoot down federal drones and claim $100 bounty per dronePhillip Steel, a resident of Deer Trail, Colorado, is ready to fight for the Old West values he feels are being threatened by drones.Asked what exactly he's proposing to do when he sees an unmanned aircraft, Steel points his weapon to the sky."I am proposing to shoot it down," he said.Deer Trail -- population 598 -- was scheduled to vote Tuesday on a measure that would allow its residents to hunt for federal drones and shoot them down, but Mayor Frank Fields said Tuesday that the vote has been postponed while a district court decides whether the ordinance is legal.
Steel said he wrote the ordinance after he learned the Federal Aviation Administration "loosened regulations that would allow the flight of drones in domestic airspace."The FAA recently announced plans to create six drone test sites around the country, none of which has been publicly listed. It plans to allow widespread use of domestic drones in 2015.
The ordinance specifies the kinds of weapons and ammunition residents could use and puts a bounty on recovered parts -- $25 for the fuselage or wing, $100 for a whole drone that has U.S. government markings.In fact, the FAA is keeping a close watch on Deer Trail's special election. It issued a statement that sounded like a warning."Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane," it read.Steel says he won't be deterred from shooting at drones.But he hopes the ordinance, if passed, would encourage them to steer clear of his town."There are many things that are illegal, but the United States federal government declared war on us. This is our response," he said.
12-12-13, 07:24 PM #2
So how exactly would someone on the ground be able to tell if an aircraft is a drone or a manned plane? Just think of what will happen if some hillbilly shoots at something they see in the sky thinking its a drone, and they end up injuring or killing someone who is inside the plane? What's their defense? "Oh I thought that Cessna was a drone. My bad." On top of that, what happens when Billy Bob shoots something out of the sky and it lands on someone on the ground or onto someone's home?
Also, just this spring there was a man in Omaha who was sentenced to two years in federal prison because he was shining laser pointers at helicopters. Now I'm not entirely familiar with federal aviation laws, but I'm guessing that shooting at an aircraft with a weapons would also land someone in federal prison.
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