As Professor Jacobson’s recent pictorial essay noted, there is something for both the left and right to hate about the Obama Administration’s use of drones.
As the co-founder of San Diego’s first Tea Party group, I love the grassroots initiative displayed by the citizens of one Colorado town to address the concerns Americans have over the use of these aerial vehicles over their skies. They propose a new type of hunting license that combines free market savvy while targeting statist government tactics.
The small town of Deer Trail, Colo. is considering a bold move. The town board will be voting on an ordinance that would create drone hunting licenses and offer bounties for unmanned aerial vehicles.
Deer Trail resident, Phillip Steel, drafted the ordinance.
“We do not want drones in town,” said Steel. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”
Even though it’s against the law to destroy federal property, Steel’s proposed ordinance outlines weapons, ammunition, rules of engagement, techniques, and bounties for drone hunting.
Of course, Washington’s bureaucratic elites are not nearly as amused as I am:
People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the Federal Aviation Administration warned Friday.
The FAA released a statement 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.
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.”
Under the proposed ordinance, Deer Trail would grant hunting permits to shoot drones. The permits would cost $25 each. The town would also encourage drone hunting by awarding $100 to anyone who presents a valid hunting license and identifiable pieces of a drone that has been shot down.
The FAA is relying on the classic “safety first” arguments that are the standard response to reasonable questions about liberty-impinging rules. However, given the use license plate scanners to amass massive and unregulated databases that can be used to track law-abiding citizens paired with Attorney General Eric Holder’s targeting of private citizen George Zimmerman, I think the citizens of Deer Trail have alighted upon an admirable solution.