Technology

FAA Says You Shouldn't Shoot at Drones (We're Looking at You, Texas)

The Federal Aviation Administration has unveiled its official stance on Americans shooting at drones: You shouldn't do that. According to the Associated Press, the FAA announced today that anyone discharging a weapon at a drone runs the risk of causing it to crash, thus injuring people or property, thus risking prosecution or fines.

The agency was forced to take this bold public stand on the matter when a small town decided that it wanted to pass a law encouraging hunters to shoot unmanned aerial vehicles out of the sky. In what was a surprise to all involved, that town isn't even in Texas.

See also: As Drone Journalism Takes Off, UT-Arlington Researchers Offer a Glimpse of the Future

"Is it illegal? Of course it is," Phillip Steel, resident of the Deer Trail farming community in Colorado, tells CNN. "But it's also illegal to spy on American citizens. If they fly in town, we will shoot them down."

Texas has been proactive in addressing drone concern, criminalizing their use for private surveillance. But Deer Trail has out-Texased the Lone Star State on this front. About 10 percent of Deer Trail's roughly 300 voters have signed a petition that would allow the sale of drone hunting permits for $25 apiece.

The FAA doesn't have authority to actually outlaw anything. They're just saying you could be penalized if the felled drone causes any damage. But this could open up a lot of new job opportunities. People could pay top dollar to hunt drones in their natural habitat, and there could be a booming industry of drone taxidermists. A mounted drone and bear arranged to look like they're fighting would be quite breathtaking.

Texas, we can do better.

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Luke Darby
Contact: Luke Darby