A small town in Colorado called Deer Trail has rejected a proposal to issue official licenses to “drone hunters.” Back in 2013 a resident of this town, Philip Steel, proposed that the city grant drone hunting licenses as well as up to a $100 bounty to people who “hunt” federal drones. He called the proposal “symbolic,” had the proposal passed it would have earned the town some money, and maybe even draw drone-hunting tourists towards it.
The Denver Post reports that of the 181 people who cast ballots, 73 percent opposed the proposal. Deer Trail has nearly 350 registered voters and a total popular of less than 600 people. The overwhelming majority voted against the proposal, which would have granted official licenses to drone hunters for $25. Some residents even called Steel’s proposal embarrassing for the small town.
The federal government didn’t just sit around and wait for the town to do its thing. It warned that shooting a drone is illegal and could result in civil or criminal liability, “just as would firing at a manned airplane.” Intent doesn’t matter, shooting down federal drones isn’t allowed.
Even the town’s mayor was in favor of this proposal, “let this town make a little money,” he said. However, he was voted out of office. That, and a few other factors, led to the delay of the vote several times.