Want To Legally Shoot At Drones? Then Move To Deer Trail, Colorado

Tyler Durden's picture

The market may still be amused by Amazon's latest forward P/E boosting gimmick in the form of its entertaining (and stock price boosting if only briefly) proposal to deliver packages (some of which haven't even been ordered) by drone, but some US towns, tired of this endless invasion of just in time violators, are already taking aim at the messenger. Case in point: Deer Trail, Colorado, a city of 563, which Bloomberg reports, may approve today a measure that allows the town to issue hunting licenses for unmanned aerial vehicles, i.e., drones.

Apparently some luddites people still place civil rights over the potential of bottom line profits achieved through increasingly more intrusive technology. People like Phillip Steel, a 49-year-old welding inspector, who wrote the proposed law as a symbolic protest after hearing a radio news report that the federal government is drafting a plan to integrate drones into civilian airspace, he said. The measure sets a bounty of as much as $100 for a drone with U.S. government markings, although anyone who shoots at one could be subject to criminal or civil liability, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

“That plan is a taking of property rights, a taking of civil rights,” said Steel, who wears a black duster coat and a cowboy hat. “According to a 1964 Supreme Court decision, a property owner owns airspace up to 1,000 feet above the ground.”

It also appears some Americans still value their privacy in an age when every US citizen is automatically expected to relinquish all private date to the NSA collective:

The Deer Trail ordinance highlights growing privacy concerns nationwide with the expanded use of camera-equipped drones, which can be as small as radio-controlled aircraft. Thirteen states enacted 16 laws addressing use of the tiny vehicles, and others are being considered in Indiana, Washington and Utah, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.

That said, one will hardly see the spirited approach as exhibited in libertarian Colorado towns spreading across the US:

The drone-hunting ordinance comes against a backdrop of secession votes last year in 11 rural Colorado counties seeking to form a 51st state -- with five voting in favor of studying such a plan. The move followed the enactment of the toughest gun restrictions in the state in a decade in response to a deadly shooting in an Aurora movie theater.

And why should it - people elsewhere are far more concerned with getting their fake Facebook clicks.

What is perhaps more amusing is that the FAA, instead of resisting this latest push to fill the skies with buzzing entities, has already warned the Colorado town of retaliation:

The Deer Trail proposal would allow those holding a $25 hunting license to shoot at drones within the one-square-mile town limits. Even if approved, the ordinance is illegal, federal and state officials said.


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 FAA said in a statement. “Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane.”


Congress asked the FAA to develop a plan to integrate drones into U.S. airspace by September, 2015. The agency estimates about 7,500 commercial unmanned aircraft will be operating within five years of being allowed in U.S. airspace.

In this case Congress is merely doing the bidding of corporations which are delighted to have their "delivery objects" fill the sky, and of course the NSA. So nothing new there. Still, should Deer Trail pass the measure, it will likely incite at least some comparable moves in other smaller US cities where people still haven't completely lost their minds:

Steel was required to gather 19 signatures, or 5 percent of the registered voters in Deer Trail, to get the measure on the ballot. He turned in 23. Voter turnout is expected to be high in the town, located about 56 miles (90 kilometers) east of Denver, said Mayor Frank Fields, who is up for re-election.


“This could bring in some free money -- that’s why I’m all for it,” Fields said.


The proposal allows town officials to spend as much as $10,000 in municipal funds to “establish an unmanned aerial vehicle recognition program.” Shooters must be on private property and are limited to three shots per so-called engagement, “unless there exists an imminent threat to life and safety.”

The vote on the measure will take place today - we eagerly look forward to the outcome, and even more eagerly wait to see if in case of successful passage, the FAA will finally give the official green light to weaponize drones flying above the US. You know, for self-defense purposes...

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cifo's picture

I find it difficult to figure out the April 1st posts.


Superdude's picture

Good call, the only newz coming out of Colorado these days is weed related. April Fools!

idea_hamster's picture

A drone “hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground...” the FAA said.

Yeah -- it's when they're shot down that they cause damage to persons on the ground.  Sure -- why not.

drendebe10's picture

...as if the FAA bureaucrats knows anything except how to push papers and collect a pay check for showing up with better health insurance, sick leave, vacation/holiday and retirement than the average tax paying serf or peasant.... fukem...

Manthong's picture

In related news, the High Velocity Shooters Club has announced that its next annual meeting and precision shooting convention will be held in Deer Tail, CO.

The affair will be “BYOTLD” (Bring Your Own Tannerite-Laden Drone), but casual flyovers by government agencies are encouraged.

Display booths by target drone, munitions, optics and ballistics computation manufacturers will be featured.

Zymurguy's picture

A drone “hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground...” the FAA said.

- Then don't fucking fly it over my property! - funny how this statement by the FAA makes it sound like it's our fault if a drone damages something if it crashes.  It could crash for any number of reasons, not only that from being shot at.

Alternatively, what if we developed a nice gentle way to catch the drones and bring them safely down to the ground?  I guess that would be okay, then huh?

NoDebt's picture

Squirrel pilot?  Like hell!  That's a Pokemon.  Pikachu, if I'm not mistaken.

Thought Processor's picture



Gonna go get me some drone.



edit:  just out of curiousity- what caliber would actually reach the needed altitude?   50. cal do it?  

whichever caliber, I'm sure that software could be configured to aim the sucker appropriately.


Maybe easier to just hack in to it.


Let the fun begin.

Thought Processor's picture




"Improvised Rocket Propelled Grenade"


I would imagine that the above would most likely, on average, cause more harm to the user than to the object one is trying to hit.



DeadFred's picture

Do you have to admit that you shot it down to collect the reward? You could claim it was the aerial version of roadkill and force the FAA to prove you actually pulled the triggers. Use the "it just fell out of the sky in front of me" defense.

markettime's picture

Colorado needs more people like this. Many, many more people like this.....

NEOSERF's picture

PLEASE tell me this is an April Fool's joke..there is advertising for this up in the mall here in Boston



evernewecon's picture



The healthy state being relaxed and

carefree anything control'y, judge'y 

be afraid'y Trayvon episode-like

would seem to detract from that.



But if I were a billionaire with 

puppets, and unscrupulous beyond 

the point of hiring puppets pretending

to serve a community purpose democratically,

I'd instruct:


sell to fear, sell to Mr. Judge-head, 

the real controlling kind, like Archie

Bunker.  Get elected, don't represent 

your state well, be my slumlord, sell out

their water, etc.






SAT 800's picture

Don't forget Rifle, Colorado. (Not making this up); and Admiral Yamamoto's response to the Japanese Army high command, vis a vis a plan to invade the United States; "Don't be insane, you cannot invade the United States, there's a rifle behind every blade of grass". Let's hope, anyway.

LawsofPhysics's picture

one way to increase your real estate values I guess...

Ignatius's picture

Who wouldn't want Drone Tags?

PlusTic's picture

Awesome...that drone looks like a 5-pointer

lunaticfringe's picture

How do I apply for a drone tag?


Carl Popper's picture

Call the city government.

This will be a big moneymaker. No residency requirement. A lot of out of staters will buy it for the novelty of framing it over their fireplace. Possibly with a fake drone head mounted on the wall above it.

ebworthen's picture

Can't wait to see the pics of guys in camo, rifles in hand, holding up the wing or tail section of a dead drone.

DeadFred's picture

What part do you mount above the fireplace mantle?

Dick Gazinia's picture

When they start selling permits to shoot bankers I will be in.

PlusTic's picture

I'd pay top $ for a Blankfein tag!

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Future news item:

WS'ers hit by more Drone crashes than nail guns.....

JuliaS's picture

Rights don't require permits.

Stoploss's picture


Superdude's picture

It would be awesome if the people who did this dressed in suits with Obama masks on for the cameras. 







lunaticfringe's picture

What are going to dress up as this Halloween, little Barack? I am going to dress up like a President mommy.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Indeed property owners have rights 1000 feet in the air, but what about mineral rights in the ground?

RacerX's picture

Next up: Drone taxidermists

barndoor's picture

And the first Cessna goes down in 3...2...1...

q99x2's picture

Do you get a bonus reward for capture.

Cannon Fodder's picture

So if a person has property rights up to 1000 feet, does that mean that rain which enters your space, before it hits the ground is yours? And thus you can collect it? (it's actually illegal in several states to collect rain water)

NevadaMirage's picture

How about those who live adjacent to airports? Can they start charging aircraft to enter their "airspace"?

Cannon Fodder's picture

Sadly, the government drones fly to high to be shot at by a rifle. Wish this town all the best of luck though...

drendebe10's picture

it's the thought that counts..

NevadaMirage's picture

One of these idiots will shoot some kids RC toy quadcopter, damage the LiPo battery powering it (causing it to burst into flames), then watch the wreckage plummet to the ground and ignite a wild fire. Hope it burns their house down.

FilthyHabits's picture

GREAT SCOTTS man, genius; What a great sport to invent.

Who wants to make the first national organization?

We can call it: National Drone Cutters Association.

Warhead's picture

Right, stop that! This is getting entirely too silly!

royal's picture

Caution: you are entering a NO DRONE ZONE, bitchez!

SmackDaddy's picture

Well we trust plenty of people in the middle east enough to supply them with shoulder fired missles.  Why not our own?

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Drone the opposing voters!!!!

inky's picture

Is the Amazon drone dating anyone? my sister could use a bf with a job.

One And Only's picture

Drones don't matter because all it takes is 1. All it takes is one bored genius 14 year old to hack into the computer systems and compromise it. Isn't this essentially what happened with Snowden? A couple years ago no one knew what the NSA did...everyone was all "they're super secret black ops shit bro". Well....two years later every single secret from the NSA was distributed to journalists. The entire NSA got hacked by a 20 something year old. I'm pretty sure Russia and Iran are already hacking our drones as they seem to be making perfect landings in enemy territory.

Only thing drones are realllllly good for is ensuring that generals that are in charge of approving these projects get good paying jobs at Lockheed Martin when they retire.

Cannon Fodder's picture

Or it takes one 7.62 round through a satellite dish which links them to the ground....

Or one cut cable to that control module on the ground....

ILLILLILLI's picture

Hell yeah! http://youtu.be/SNPJMk2fgJU Boris will be proud of his fellow countryman...

madcows's picture

we should do the same for congressmen


dogismycopilot's picture

i forsee a day when you will have guys shooting at Federal drones from the cockpit of their Cessna 172 with 12 gauge autoloaders.