FAA warns Colorado town that shooting down drones could lead to prosecution
Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel, who introduced the ordinance for debate – while admitting the move would be largely symbolic – voiced distrust towards the quickly proliferating technology already shared by many others, in particular privacy advocates who recoil at the thought of flying cameras hovering over American communities.
“Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way,” says Steel.
“We do not want drones in town. They fly in town, they get shot down,” he added.
In response, the FAA has released a statement that seeks to answer many of the questions raised by such a city ordinance, whether symbolic or otherwise.
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,” adds the FAA.
Steel said in an interview that he already has 28 signatures on his petition — roughly 10 per cent of the town’s registered voters. Colorado law requires local officials to formally consider the proposal at a meeting in August, reports the AP.
Town officials would then have the option of adopting the ordinance or putting it on the ballot in an election this fall, he said.
Steel has already dismissed the FAA’s warning, saying that “the FAA doesn’t have the power to make a law.”