Oklahoma wants to give property owners a special privilege: the ability to shoot down drones.
Republican State Sen. Ralph Shortey has proposed a bill in Oklahoma that would lift any civil liability for a property owner who shoots down a drone flying over their land.
Oklahoma Senate Bill 660 recently left committee and will soon be debated by the Oklahoma state legislature. It states that:
“Any person owning or controlling real estate or other premises who voluntarily damages or destroys a drone located on the real estate or premises or within the airspace of the real estate or premises not otherwise regulated by the Federal Aviation shall, together with any successors in interest, if any, not be civilly liable for causing the damage or destruction to the property of such person.”
According to Ars Technica, the bill comes in response to the vast number of property owners who have decided upon themselves to exact revenge on the aerial technology.
Even if the bill passes, it’s unclear whether it will “fly” with federal law. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) claims jurisdiction in the skies, and technically, it’s a federal crime to shoot out a drone.
Ars Technica reached out to the FAA for a comment regarding the recent Oklahoma bill. The statement below is what Les Dorr, the FAA spokesperson, sent back over email:
“A private citizen 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. Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in a civil penalty from the FAA and/or criminal charges filed by federal, state or local law enforcement.”
Unfortunately, Ars Technica didn’t ask the FAA on the legality of using flying nets to wrangle down a drone.