Colorado Town's Drone-Hunting Vote Grounded

Deer Trail waits for court opinion on Phillip Steel's effort
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2013 9:56 AM CST
Anti-surveillance activist Phillip Steel poses for a portrait in Denver, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – Phillip Steel has made a name for himself—through such outlets as the Colbert Report—with his call for hometown drone-hunting. Steel is behind an ordinance to allow the shooting-down of federal drones in Deer Trail, Colorado, home to 598 people. But the town won't vote on the measure today as planned; officials are waiting for a district court to rule on its legality, CNN reports. (Though ABC Denver reports the delay is due to an issue with the validity of the vote's petition signatures.) A new vote is tentatively set for April 1, ABC Denver reports. The town is mixed on the issue, and an earlier Board of Trustees vote produced a 3-3 result.

"I would shoot a drone down if it's peering in my window, scanning me, and it's within elevation where I can nail it," says one local. Another disagrees, saying the "ridiculous" plan is "embarrassing the town." The FAA is well aware of the issue, and it notes that "shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane." Steel's take? "There are many things that are illegal, but the United States federal government declared war on us. This is our response."

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