FAA: Don’t Shoot At Drones

People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the Federal Aviation Administration warned last week. The FAA released a statement in response to questions about an ordinance under consideration in the tiny farming community of Deer Trail, Colorado, that would encourage hunters to shoot down the flying aircraft.

The council of Deer Trail (pop. 546) is considering issuing licenses to bounty hunters to take down any federal unmanned aircraft that impinges upon the “sovereignty of its airspace.” According to the proposed ordinance, which will be considered by the town council at its next meeting on Aug. 6, prospective bounty hunters can get a one-year drone-hunting license for $25.

Shooters must use shotguns, 12 gauge or smaller, firing lead, steel or depleted uranium ammunition, and they can’t fire on aircraft flying higher than 1,000. No weapons with rifled barrels allowed, and no tracer rounds.

The council would pay $100 for mostly intact drones, or $25 for parts thereof, so long as the pieces have federal markings and the “trophies” become property of Deer Trail.

Resident Phillip 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.” “Is it illegal? Of course it is. But it’s also illegal to spy on American citizens,” Steel told CNN in a phone interview. “If they fly in town, we will shoot them down.” The FAA reminded the public that it regulates the nation’s airspace, including the airspace over cities and towns.

A drone “hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air,” the statement said. “Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane.”

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Comments (53)

  1. That’s all we need, people shooting down drones that cost the pilot 8K-10K to purchase. Imagine how an owner would react to the fact they had been shot down. They have video on them and can usually figure out who was the shooter. They next drone will cost 25K and it will shoot back. Now we have an arms race with Drones. Something else this country does not seed at all.

    Keep in mind that drones do serve some very important purposesfor agriculture, construction, police work, civil projects etc. Shooting them down will probably get you in a lot of trouble and depending on the judge could cost you a great deal of money.

  2. Not much is going to happen under 1,000 ft anyway, and with the low population in Deer Trail, the chances of someone getting hit are astronomical. If a drone came crashing into my house, I’m sure we’d all have a roof repair party and when the feds showed up to arrest someone, anyone really, there’d be a couple hundred well armed and not too happy rednecks waiting for them.

    No one would want to turn in the “perp”, so the townspeople would just have to warn the feds that the skies aren’t that safe over Deer Trail; nope, never have been ……. ever since them aliens been showin’ up.

    Meanwhile, back in Deer Trail, Billy Bob gets to mount a nose-cone next to his deer, elk, and grizzly trophies. Yiihaaa!

  3. Um, why not just find the radio frequencies these things are controlled from and jam them locally just long enough so the thing crashes? I mean, in lieu of the amusing prospect of target-practice! LOL! 😉

  4. The commits concerning retaliation agaisnt the shooters of the drones is a good point. I would like to see legislation stating that any federal agent employee violating the constitutional rights of a citizen, for any action that is committed to protect themselves the community the state against the unconstitutional federal actions, will be arrested by the local law enforcement forces and punished with at least 10 years hard labor in STATE prison. any law enforcement that refuses to follow this ordicence will be also punished.Second provision; any action taken against unlawful spying un lawful searches unlawful arrests, the county militia will be ordered to release said person from federal arrest by force, any action of the federal agents against the Militia in there CONSTITUTIONAL duty to protect citizens from domestic enemies, those federal agents will be held tried for violation of civil liberites assault and crimes against humanity.

    that legislation would turn some heads…

  5. If we have to turn in the carcases, they should at least allow us fiberglass replicas, like they do with fish. Without that and a few photos, how are we supposed to preserve the moment? The little decals for your truck door do sound like a good idea.

  6. It is amazing that there are STUPID people like Morgan on here. Whoever you are Morgan please go get help or go back to sleep. In case you have missed life the last few years, WE THE PEOPLE, like the Town of Deer Trail, have done nothing wrong yet we are targeted by the Obama and Obiden Socialist Class and their stupid attempts to take our Rights away. Oh, Morgan, let me explain to you, I know it is spelled Biden. You know I misspelled it on purpose don’t you??? If not, please send me a drone to shoot at while Obama still allows me to have a gun. What a waste of words, you are a drone Morgan.

  7. Interesting point Morgan. I recently had to go through all of the things left in my parent’s after they passed on. One item I kept was a history book published in the 1950’s. It listed eight causes for the Civil War. Last on that list was slavery. The other seven were regarding the federal government imposing it’s power above the individual states, as I recall. I kept that book, and if there is sufficient interest, I will dig that book out and post that list here. There are very relevant similarities to our current times.

  8. Its easy to not get targeted by a drone. Don’t do anything that would cause the government to do so.

    And Poster #32, The last civil war had very little to do with slavery. It was all about the federal government making people do shit they didn’t want to do. Sounds familiar huh?

  9. Well..yes, if shot down they could crash and damage persons or property… The solution to this is not to fly them at all because people consider them a threat to their privacy and will shoot them down. Theoretically, the people are the government, not the buffoons in DC. We get to decide what the government does, or does not do, not Obozo and his goons.

  10. If this goes thru I will happily purchase a licsence if they will sell to a non resident, hell I would give them $50 for just to support the cause and message being sent to the Obama adiminstration and the rest of the government, colorado state and governor included.

  11. I once saw a drone
    shot it down whilst driving home
    Obama didn`t quite know it
    But my marksmanship surely did show it
    The AR I used was only a clone!

  12. I’d love to see some freedom-loving entrepreneur make and sell drone decals you can stick on your truck door. Bag five and you too can be an “ace.”

    Kidding aside, I’d much rather shoot at a drone carrying Lois Lerner…

  13. Oh please people, the ordinance is under consideration and done rather tongue in cheek as the licenses are novelties to help increase city revenues. Get a grip!

  14. If the Gov boys are so worried about terrorist, why the **ll don’t they stop letting them in through the revolving door to the USA!?!? It’s all about power and control!

  15. A little power corrupts. A lot of power corrupts absolutely. To paraphrase someone. Geo. Washington told us in one of his speeches not to let the government get to big. To keep and bear arms was part of that thought I’m sure. Little did the founders know what firepower the government would have to use against its own people should they decide to go in that direction. Just look at Greece etc. Sad news for our great country. I would hope that should civil war here come to pass, our military would refuse to fire on it’s own people unlike some other countries. Yes, I know the president is the commander in chief of the military for protection of US citizens against the enemy. Well, Mr. President,,,,,WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT THE ENEMY, unless you choose to make us so. New World Order come to mind anyone? I’m a V.Nam vet (1969-70). “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death” just didn’t magically spew forth. There was some real concern for our country long ago. As bad a some things seem to be, I still have hope for our country and the people. Not so much for our leaders though. Well, just keep electing new ones and maybe we will get lucky.

  16. Outragous! The price and un-availability of ammo preclude me wasting my time OR ammo on such a rediculous target, when home and vehicle burgs are up 10% in my area over last year, and with the sequester, they are to get rid of 100 officers. 89 positions won’t be filled, and the remaining defasit will surly come from attrition. My area is not exclusive, everyone is living on a shoestring security wise, and everyone is to caught up in the hustle/bustle od day to day grind to even notice. Actually most don’t believe it’s that sensitive an issue. We are very much in a target rich environment, without looking for “Big Brother’s” drones to knock down.

  17. Anyone ever hear of “SKY NET”? You may make fun of this but, if you haven’t already, watch the movies “Terminator”, they are more in line of what is going to happen to this
    country and as poster #30 said, There will be a civil war. Just remember and you may not believe it but, History does repeat itself. It won’t be between Black/Whites, it will
    be our government.

  18. I say shoot them down. I have worked for the government for the last 16 years. I for one am sick of the way they manipulate laws for their own good, they all get a kick back for this or that, and they screw over citizens all the time. I have become a “prepper”, but not for climate change or economic collaspe. My reason is I can easily see a civil war in the future.

  19. When the Justice Dept. gets around to capturing those responsible for the murders of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone S. Woods, only then will I worry about them finding me after I shoot at one of their precious drones.

  20. The FAA obviously has NOT read the bill. No full-size aircraft are allowed to operate below 400 ft. over populated airspace, and, this is “uncontrolled airspace” so FAA needs to STFU there.

    Shotguns < 12 ga. cannot reach to 1000 ft. (even with "depleted uranium" shot), while large drones such as Global Hawks, Reapers and Predators operate at 35,000+ ft.

    Issuance of the "license" implies that only those who understand the rules will be awarded permission.

    Which, in the end leaves only very small drones used for ops like SWAT teams, CIA, FBI, nosy next-door neighbors, blah, blah, blah… and other such borderline invasions of privacy which, technically, should fall within the jurisdiction/purview of the locally-elected sheriff's office, are well within reach of a shotgun.

    Yes! It is mostly symbolic, BUT, it is not PURELY symbolic.

  21. It is my understanding the drones will only be flying over “hot zones” where known terrorist activity (foreign and domestic) will be taking place. So unless your a terrorist, what do have to worry about? I understand some are scared or worried about loss of freedoms whilst these drones be flying, but they are not looking for you or at you…..if they are, then maybe you should stop and reevaluate your intentions. CMW U.S.M.C. Deserts storm vet, disabled due to service, love my country and my freedoms.

  22. The FAA needs to be reminded manned aircraft are not allowed below 500 feet and that their authority does not extend below that. Limiting the shooting to shotguns puts any aircraft above that altitude beyond the range of a shotgun.

  23. Obviously this legislation is a statement (please don’t fire in the air, remember safety rules) nevertheless, it draws a nice line in the sand.
    For those gun owners afraid of causing a bad reputation because of the military guns they own or the camouflage FORGET IT. Remember, we want people to accept ALL parts of gun culture, not just the stereotypical “guns are only for target shooting or hunting”. Frankly I don’t care what people think. I will show up to my range with all my milspec tacticool gear because I like it, it wont endanger anyone, and that’s all that really matters.

  24. I agree in principal, in fact I believe we would be within our constitutional rights to do so. I also think we should act with intelligence. The anti-gun “progressives” are likely hoping that we do shoot these down. If we were to knock these spycraft from the sky, we would give the jerks a reason to add weapons to the drones and take out the “terrorists” who attacked aircraft in U.S. airspace. The day may come, but we are not there yet, and we’ll need a whole lot more firepower than a shotgun.

  25. Reality check………..Several clues in the proposed ordinance should have indicated to you that the ordinance was “symbolic” in nature…… Want to help remove the stupid look for us gun owners- don’t go out and buy every new damned “military” looking weapon that comes out on the market and run around wearing your cammies. You want to look like that, I am sure the Army and the Marines would be able to clothe and equip you thusly at no expense to you. There are many semi auto-loaders out there that will perform outstandingly in the event that the final tyranny takes over. Member NRA, Gun Owners of America and Nat’l Association for Gun Rights and Viet Nam Vet…..

  26. “A drone hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground….”

    Really? So could a freakn’ drone not hit by gunfire! If I’m in the woods with a rifle, and I see a drone, it’s open season baby!

  27. No worries about these drones, guys. I hear they’re going to get Asiana pilots to man the remote controls. Besides, if the FAA is so worried about “falling aircraft” after it’s been shot – they shouldn’t let ANY planes fly – they could ALL fall out of the sky. Duh. It’s TIME people, it’s TIME….

  28. The folks in Deer Trail apparently haven’t studied their American history, 1861-1865. Anyone who actually blasts away at a federal drone (and God help any ultralight pilot who happens to be flying over Deer Trail) is going to find himself in either a federal prison or an early grave. I know I disagree with just about every other commenter, but it’s this sort of stupidity that makes the gun-owning community look dangerous to the public. And as you know, we’re not. But you wouldn’t know it from the elected representatives of Deer Trail, who have made buffoons of themselves.

  29. “A drone “hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air,”” And they think that damages won’t occur when these robots malfunction? What about collision with small manned aircraft – helicopters, etc.
    Maybe time for flying a barrage of balloons and kites tethered with Kevlar string?

  30. Great for Deer Trail, I think that if one flies over your own property you should be able to shoot it down without a permit (our Forefathers would have), if your not on your property yea, get a permit and shoot them all down.

  31. Perhaps a better strategy for Deer Trail would be to form a wildlife commission, declare some endangered bird species, declare a wildlife habitat for the protected birds up to the maximum altitude they fly, and apply for federal or state grants to protect the birds from any unmanned flying, mechanical objects.

    But then, declaring an endangered species would justify attacking the people pf Deer Trail who, no doubt, the feds deem an even greater threat to wildlife than drones.

  32. Way to go Deer Trail, Colorado!! I hope this goes viral!! The Founding Fathers would have been shooting by now – I am fully in support of stopping the madness against WQ THE PEOPLE.

  33. Was a time if your property was covvered by Homestead act you had the ownership of your airspace.
    Lot of too dooo make noise BS when we all know drones are here to stay.
    This is not your grandpas america it is a lot better because your whole life is surveiled by feds and there is not a damn thing you can do other than bitch or join the party.
    Law and order is what americans wanted along with wars to feel super about; well we got em and now we can playgames of make believe.

  34. I kind of hope a lot more places do the same bounty hunting program so long as there isn’t the normal paper trail, as the bounty hunters would need protections against a tyrannical government trying to take over our once great nation. I want to see more places do this not to have thousands of people shooting guns in city limits, but to give the government a better reason to quit spying on us.

  35. People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the Federal Aviation Administration warned last week.

    I no longer quite care if some department of the U.S. Federal Government loses a drone. Prove it was me who shot at it by using the metadata from my phone and the conversations I had with others.

  36. Well they got what they wanted, the attention of the nation and the Feds. Hopefully this will send a message to Washington that the people are tired of being micro managed. The funniest part is, no drone will fly below a 1000ft to spy on anyone, a 12 gauge won’t drop a goose at over a hundred yards, so this all is just a game that Washington bit on and now they are puffing their chest to try and scare more citizens.
    I would love to have a license as a memento too hang on my wall!

  37. Deer Trail, Colorado’s move is just one more example of the public pushing back at our ever encroaching Federal Government. I personally hope that someone shoots one down, but he dare not tell for fear of being hauled off to jail. It would be quite a media sensation!

  38. I seriously doubt that many will collect the $25 bounty if they are restricted to using a shotgun to down a drone at a 1,000 ft altitude. Sure will be fun to try, as long as the NSA/FAA doesn’t have a nose-camera in the drone to capture pics of the shooter.

    I can’t wait until the federal government hack lawyers waste our money by spending time drafting a new law that specifically prohibits blasting away with one’s Browning light-12 (horrors) semi-automatic.

    But hey….didn’t Biden okay going into the back yard to blast away in a skyward direction to “scare away” perps? If it’s okay with Biden, I don’t see why the FAA should whine about it. Now, what did I do with those 12-gauge tracer rounds. They must be around somewhere………

  39. People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the Federal Aviation Administration warned last week.

    You know what, I really don’t freaking care. The day you can tell me that I haven’t broken a federal law by getting out of my bed this morning, I might have some sort of respect for any federal law.

    I’m just so disgusted with the federal government I want to scream.

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