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New FAA Warning to Public: Don't Shoot Drones

Agency says it's illegal to go blasting at objects in the sky
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2013 6:11 PM CDT
New FAA Warning to Public: Don't Shoot Drones
File photo of a law-enforcement drone in Mesa County, Colo.   (Anonymous)

People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the FAA warned today. Why the weird pronouncement? It's in response to questions about an ordinance under consideration in the tiny farming community of Deer Trail, Colo., that would encourage hunters to shoot down drones. The administration reminded the public that it regulates the nation's airspace, including the airspace over cities and towns.

"Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane," it says. Under the proposed ordinance, Deer Trail would grant hunting permits to shoot drones, and even provide financial incentives to do so. Backers say they have enough signatures to require local officials to formally consider the proposal at a meeting next month. Town officials would then have the option of adopting the ordinance or putting it on the ballot in an election this fall. (Read more FAA stories.)

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