Colorado voters will decide whether to issue drone-hunting licenses

drone-drainBy Deborah Hastings

A tiny town in Colorado will vote on whether to issue hunting licenses allowing folks to shoot down government drones. The Deer Trail town board tied 3-3 in a Tuesday night meeting on the proposed ordinance, meaning it will go to voters in November.

Deer Trail has received international attention after officials announced last month they wanted to declare open season on government surveillance drones. The Federal Aviation Administration warned it was illegal to destroy government property and that a wounded unmanned aerial vehicle shot out of the sky could crash land on people.

“We do not want drones in town,” said Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel, who drafted the ordinance. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”

Steel’s tongue was firmly in his cheek when he first drafted the measure, but his anti-spying sentiment soon caught on with residents and some officials in the enclave of about 550 people some 55 miles east of Denver.

The ordinance would also award $100 bounties for downed drones.

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