drones-masterLast year there was a report of a man who shot down a drone that flew over his backyard. A judge later cleared the man in question, claiming that he was within his right to shoot down the drone and before you get too excited about the idea of shooting down drones flying in your backyard, you might want to read the FAA’s ruling.

According to a report from Forbes, author John Goglia has confirmed with the FAA that apparently shooting down drones is considered a federal crime. The FAA states that “regardless of the situation, shooting at any aircraft — including unmanned aircraft — poses a significant safety hazard. An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air.”

So what does this mean? This means that unless the FAA changes their minds about the law in question, shooting down a drone could potentially see the perpetrator face up to 20 years in prison. However at the same time this raises questions about how will people protect themselves in the event that a drone threatens their privacy?

Also what about potential alternatives of taking down drones? Are those considered crimes as well? For example over in Japan one of the ways of dealing with drones in unwanted airspace is to use a net to bring it down, while over in the Netherlands, police are resorting to more creative tactics like training eagles to take down drones.

Filed in Robots. Read more about Drones, Faa and Legal.

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