Small towns across Colorado aren’t taking too kindly to FAA regulations that would allow drones to fly into domestic airspace, because residents feel it is an invasion of their privacy.
Remember Deer Park, Colorado? We talked about this small town (population 546) back in July. Deer Park proposed a $100 bounty to any hunter who shoots down unmanned drones, and now, Deer Trail, Colorado (population 598), about 200 miles away from Deep Park, is doing the same.
Scheduled to vote on this drone-hunting measure, Deer Trail Mayor Frank Fields said that the vote has been postponed while a district court decides if this ordinance is even legal, which means the vote probably won’t even take place until next year. In the meantime, though, residents are speaking out, expressing their thoughts and opinions about drones.
Phillip Steel, Deer Trail resident, recognizes that drones can be helpful in some situations, specifically search and rescue efforts, but he doesn’t believe these unmanned aircrafts belong in his back yard.
“What has me fired up is it’s trespassing,” said Steel. “It doesn’t belong there. Yes, it’s privacy. But that’s only one part of it. Who’s going to be flying these drones?”
While Steel has a point and a legitimate concern as to whom exactly will be piloting the drones, the FAA recently announced its plans to create six drone testing sites around the U.S. and to allow widespread use of domestic drones in 2015.
Another Deer Trail resident speaks out against drones.
“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,” said Robert Copely.
Yet, not all Deer Trail residents are against drones. In fact, Daniel Domanoski said, “That’s a federal offense to destroy government property, and on top of that, it’s a ridiculous thing and embarrassing to our town.”
So, with all the drone ruckus being created, FAA is keeping a close watch on Deer Trail’s voting and has issued a statement (or warning) to the town: “Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned plane.”
However, this doesn’t and won’t deter Steel from shooting at drones, although his hope is that this ordinance, if passed, would encourage FAA to keep drones away from Deer Trail.
“There are many things that are illegal, but the United States federal government declared war on us. This is our response,” said Steel.