About seventy-five miles outside the People’s Republic of Boulder resides the sleepy little town of Deer Trail, Colorado. Home of the World’s First Rodeo, Dear Trail is a quiet town of just 598 sturdy souls nestled on Colorado’s eastern plains. The town boasts one elementary school, one middle school, one high school, and a rebellious local town board that has no love for government surveillance. And if the town board has its way, the local residents could begin cashing in.
A proposed ordinance, if passed on August 6th, would allow the issuing of government-drone hunting licenses to local residents. Take that, snoopy NSA! The permits would be issued anonymously, with no background checks, for a small fee of twenty-five dollars, bringing in much-needed revenue…or something. After issuance, the license would allow a resident to shoot down government drones. No, I’m not kidding! Drone hunters would receive a reward of one hundred dollars a head, but only if “identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.” So don’t go trying to turn in pretend drone parts off your broken down Chevy from the back forty (that’s a hat tip to my Ford-loving friends).
“We do not want drones in town,” said Phillip Steel, the resident who drafted the ordinance. “They fly in town, they get shot down.” No 20,000 pages of regulations here. Short. Sweet. To the point.
But before you get all excited and start thinking you’d like your own town’s board to vote in a similar ordinance, there is a very important caveat, or as we sarcastic types would say, A Big Fat Can ‘O Duh: The “town ordinance and federal law would bump into each other pretty aggressively on this one—anyone destroying federal property worth more than $1,000 (which drones most certainly are) could be slapped with up to 10 years in jail as well as a fine.” Buzz kill.
In the meantime, even if the ordinance never comes to fruition (*sad face*), I have a personal suggestion for drone-hunting target practice: