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.
Asked by a local reporter if he’d ever seen a drone flying over Deer Trail, Steel admitted he hadn’t.
“This is a very symbolic ordinance,” he told KMGH TV. “Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way.”
The hunting licenses would cost $25.
“They’ll sell like hot cakes, and it would be a real drone hunting license,” said Steel. “It could be a huge moneymaker for the town.”
Deer Trail resident David Boyd is also on the town board.
“Even if a tiny percentage of people get online (for a) drone license, that’s cool. That’s a lot of money to a small town like us,”said Boyd. “Could be known for it as well, which probably might be a mixed blessing, but what the heck?”