KJRH reports that the small town of Deer Trail, Colorado, will be considering an possible ordinance that would allow hunters in the area to shoot down drones. The town council will be voting on the ordinance that would also provide for a bounty when a local licensed hunter shows pieces of a drone he has shot.
Deer Trail resident, Phillip Steel, drafted the ordinance. "We do not want drones in town," said Steel. "They fly in town, they get shot down."
The proposed ordinance, made possible by only 26 required petition signatures in the small town, reads:
The Town of Deer Trail shall issue a reward of $100 to any shooter who presents a valid hunting license and the following identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.
When asked if he had ever seen any drones in the area, Steel agreed that he had not, but said, "This is a very symbolic ordinance. Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way."
If the town board were to pass such an ordinance, it would sell "drone hunting licenses" online for $25. And here is where the whole thing goes from symbolic, if not outright silly, to a make-sense money machine.
"They'll sell like hot cakes, and it would be a real drone hunting license," said Steel, "It could be a huge moneymaker for the town."
Town board member David Boyd said, "Even if a tiny percentage of people get online (for a) drone license, that's cool. That's a lot of money to a small town like us,"said Boyd. "Could be known for it as well, which probably might be a mixed blessing, but what the heck?"
Deer Trail, Town clerk, Kim Oldfield said, "I can see it as a benefit, monetarily speaking, because of the novelty of the ordinance."
It all sounded like a neat little way to make a statement, and maybe make a little money for the town when people all over the country logged on to buy their bona fide Drone Hunting License (valid only in Deer Trail, Colorado). Then the FAA got wind of the plan and issued a statement. The statement said, in part:
[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. Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane.