Deer Trail, Colorado, a small US town which boasts that it introduced the world’s first rodeo in 1869, is mulling a new entertainment for the 21st century, & may be paying bounties to anyone who shoots down an unmanned drone.
During August, trustees of the town will debate a measure that will permit residents to purchase a $25 “hunting license” to shoot down “unmanned aerial vehicles.” The town would pay $100 bounty to anyone who can produce the fuselage & nose or tail of a downed drone.
The measure was drafted by resident Phillip Steel, an Army veteran who acknowledges the whimsical nature of his proposal while complaining that the expansion of drones in commercial & government use is alarming.
“We don’t want to become a surveillance society,” he told a reporter during in a telephone interview (I guess he’s not heard about the international lounge at Moscow airport).
He said he has not actually seen any drones, but that “some local ranchers” outside the town may have seen them.
Under his proposal, hunters could legally shoot down a drone flying under 1,000 feet with a shotgun.
“In no case shall a citizen engage an obviously manned aerial vehicle,” the draft proposal reads (although a “stand-your-ground” defence would probably see you in the clear if any unpleasantness should follow an “incident”).
Steel said that if the town trustees don’t vote to adopt the ordinance, he will place it before voters in a special election.
Steel says his idea is symbolic but he hopes it will curtail the (speculative & unproven) use of drones over the town.
Neither the Federal Aviation Administration nor Edward Snowden have so far commented on the story.