United States aviation authority says drone shooting is a federal crime
The drone industry and drone lovers in United States will love this news. The aviation watchdog in United States of America has said that shooting down drones is a federal crime. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed last week that it is federal crime to shoot down aircraft, which includes drones too. At least, 12 drones have been shot out of the sky in five U.S. states
John Goglia from Forbes confirmed this with the FAA. According to the FAA, “regardless of the situation, shooting at any aircraft — including unmanned aircraft — poses a significant safety hazard. An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air. ”
Goglia explains the FAA offered this ruling in response to his questions on the topic, citing 18 USC. 32, which “makes it a felony to damage or destroy an aircraft.”
However, for his own part, Goglia asks why the FAA hasn’t yet acted on 18 USC. 32, particularly given the increasing frequency of human-on-drone violence. “It’s time the United States put an end to these dangerous acts and criminally prosecuted those who shoot at unmanned aircraft,” Goglia writes. Justifying his point: Back in October, a judge exonerated a Kentucky man who had shot down a drone that flew over his backyard.
So what does this mean? This means that unless the FAA changes their minds about the law in question, shooting down a drone could likely see the culprit face up to 20 years in prison. However, if this opinion holds up in court, it raises questions about how will people protect themselves in the event that a drone threatens their privacy? Well, it looks like those decisions may have to wait until there’s a case that creates legal precedent.