Be very, very quiet…I’m hunting U.S. Government operated Drones.
Colorado residents want to enact “Open Season” on Drones.
The small town of Deer Trail Colorado, which is known as the home of the first rodeo, may soon become known as the first “Drone Hunt” as well come early August.
Phillip Steel, a Deer Trail resident drafted an “anti-drone” ordinance to be brought before the towns governing board in early August for a vote.
A snippet of the drafted ordinance is as follows:
“The Town of Deer Trail shall issue a reward of $100 to any shooter who presents a valid hunting license and the following identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.”
Though Steel (Author of the ordinance) has never seen an actual Drone flying over his town of Deer Trail, he states that the anti-drone ordinance is more of a symbolic ordinance. Steel expresses that this ordinance serves as a form of protest to the Nation’s increasing and constituted use of domestic surveillance programs:
“I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way.”
If the ordinance is approved by vote among the Towns governing board, it (the town of Deer Field) would begin issuing “Drone Hunting” licenses for $25 annually. The license will allow individuals (both residents of Deer Field and non-residents) to hunt Drones within the Deer Trail territory and airspace.
In addition to granting the ability to hunt drones, the ordinance would also establish a bounty system by which verified “hits” on drones would be rewarded with monetary compensation:
“Bring in a fuselage or a wing with markings from the U.S. government, and the town will pay you $25. A whole drone, that’s worth $100.”
Town leaders see the ordinance as “harmless” and as a possible revenue generator for the small Town. “Even if a tiny percentage of people get online (for a) drone license, that’s cool. That’s a lot of money to a small town like us…Could be known for it as well, which probably might be a mixed blessing, but what the heck?” said David Boyd, one of the seven members of the Town’s governing board.
Town clerk, Kim Oldfield believes the anti-drone “hunting” ordinance could be a positive thing for the community. First, there is the money the licenses would bring in; second, Deer Field has been discussing crafting an entire festival around the idea that could lead to tourism and attention for the small Town. Finally, the novelty and uniqueness of the ordinance could be just the thing to bring members of the community together.
There are some stipulations about what can be used for hunting drones and who can receive a license. The ordinance specifies that weapons used for engagement of unmanned aerial vehicles would be limited to, any shotgun, 12 gauge or smaller, having a barrel length of 18 inches or greater.
Drone hunting licenses would be issued without a background investigation, and on an anonymous basis. Applicants would have to be at least 21 years old and be able to, “read and understand English.
Overall, the community seems to be in favor of the ordinance and of course additional changes can be made to the ordinance when it comes up for discussion at the Town’s next scheduled meeting in early August.
If the ordinance does manage to be approved by the Town’s governing board, there will still be legal hurdles it will need to overcome before the practice can actually be held to be “legal”. Shooting at federal government property for one is “very illegal”.
The good news is that Deer field’s governing board understands that no one will actually be shooting down any federal government drones anytime soon, nor do they expect to pay out any bounties on successfully hunted drones.
At the end of the day, the ordinance is less “realistic” and more about sending a message and generating an attraction for a small town.
Courtesy of The Huffington Post
A draft of the actual ordinance