Monday, October 6, 2014

Taking Out A Drone Will Get You Arrested

Shooting down a drone on your own property will get you locked up.

Last week, police arrested Russell Percenti of Lower Township, New Jersey after he shot down a drone that he says was flying above his home. Percenti was charged with criminal mischief and unlawful use of a firearm. He was released on a $250 bond.

The owner of the drone said that he was using it to photograph a nearby construction project, but Percenti said that the unmanned aircraft had flown onto his property.

If Percenti is telling the truth, then police arrested the wrong man. People shouldn’t be able to fly hi-tech photography equipment onto someone else’s land, even if it is only by accident. And when a drone does come onto their land, homeowners should be well within their rights to take it out.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be how the law works. According to one article, the castle doctrine doesn’t apply to drones unless they pose a physical threat. If a drone flies onto your land, you are supposed to just leave it be.

By this logic, someone hiding in your bushes and taking photographs of your bathroom window is not a “threat” either. Neither would be a burglar using binoculars scope out your property.

More towns should take a cue from Deer Trail, Colorado and start issuing drone hunting licenses.

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