RESIDENTS OF ONE ROCKY MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY DON'T WANT UNMANNED AIRCRAFT FLYING OVERHEAD. SO THEY'RE WORKING ON A NEW LAW THAT THEY SAY WOULD GIVE HUNTERS THE RIGHT TO SHOOT DRONES OUT OF THE SKY.
FEDERAL LAW GOVERNS THE OPERATION OF ALL AIRCRAFT IN THE UNITED STATES. BUT IN DEER TRAIL, COLORADO, SOME ARE TAKING THE LAW INTO THEIR OWN HANDS.
IT'S A TOWN OF ONLY 500 PEOPLE, 55 MILES EAST OF DENVER. HOME OF THE WORLD'S FIRST RODEO IS DEER TRAIL, COLORADO. AND IF SOME RESIDENTS GET THEIR WAY, IT COULD VERY WELL BE HOME OF THE COUNTRY'S FIRST DRONE HUNTING PERMIT.
FOR JUST 25 DOLLARS, DEER TRAIL RESIDENTS COULD BUY A CHANCE TO EARN A 100 DOLLAR BOUNTY ON A DOWNED U-A-V, OR UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE.
"According to the ordinance, the town could issue drone hunting licenses. They're only good in Deer Trail but they could be sold nationwide."
PHILLIP STEEL DRAFTED THE DRONE HUNTING ORDINANCE. AND HE'S SERIOUS ABOUT THE ISSUE, BECAUSE OF INCREASING SURVAILLANCE IN THE UNITED STATES.
OTHERS CALL IT A NOVELTY, EVEN CREATING A FACEBOOK PAGE WITH DRONE HUNTING-RELATED MERCHANDISE. IRONICALLY, THE SITE'S DEVELOPER, RON SHAFFER, TOLD US IN A PHONE INTERVIEW THERE MAY BE ANOTHER WAY TO BRING MONEY INTO TOWN THAN WHAT HE CALLS, "THIS RIDICULOUS DRONE ISSUE."
OFFICIALS DON'T THINK THE ISSUE IS RIDICULOUS AT ALL. AND WARN RESIDENTS OF THE DANGERS IN SHOOTING AT AIRCRAFT.
IN A STATEMENT TO W-H-D-T WORLD NEWS, A SPOKESMAN FOR THE F-A-A SAID:
THE F-A-A IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL CIVIL AIRSPACE, INCLUDING THAT ABOVE CITIES AND TOWNS, AND THE AGENCY IS WORKING TO ENSURE THE SAFE INTEGRATION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT. A U-A-V 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.
(Ian Gregor, Public Affairs Manager, FAA Pacific Division)
THIS ISN'T STOPPING THE RESIDENTS OF DEER TRAIL. AUGUST 6TH, A TOWN COUNCIL VOTE ON THE ORDINANCE CAME TO A TIE. THAT MEANS RESIDENTS, IN A SPECIAL ELECTION, WILL GET TO VOTE ON THE ISSUE THIS FALL.
STEEL WANTS TO KEEP THE SKIES ABOVE DEER TRAIL CLEAR, AND NOT JUST FROM MILITARY DRONES, WHICH LAST YEAR COST U-S TAXPAYERS FIVE BILLION.
"They could be governmental entities, non governmental organizations. They can be large corporations that want gather data for marketing purposes. They can be criminals that want to case
IN A BIZARRE TWIST, PHILLIP STEEL ALREADY HAS A REPUTATION WITH THE LAW. THREE YEARS AGO, HIS HOUSE WAS RAIDED BY THE F-B-I, AFTER STEEL WAS ACCUSED OF TRYING TO POISON HIS BOSS.
"HE COMES UP WITH IDEAS AND SCHEMES," SAYS RESIDENT RON SHAFFER. "BUT YOU JUST CAN'T STOP SOMEONE FROM FREEDOM OF SPEECH."
TOWN RESIDENTS WILL GET TO VOTE ON THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE NOVEMBER 7TH.
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