Photo by Edwin Remsberg
This post should not be construed as legal advice
Late in 2015, Jon Moyle, Ashley Ellixson, and I published Privacy Issues and the Use of sUAS/Drones in Maryland covering basic issues related to privacy issues with UAVs, more commonly known as drones. One issue related to drones and privacy we did not deal with is: “Can I shoot down a drone over my property?”
The simple answer to this question is NO! Shooting down a drone flying over your property is never a good idea. In the summer of 2015, a Kentucky man shot down a drone flying over his property. The man was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. Eventually, a judge dropped the charges, but that does not mean charges in future cases will be dropped. The drone operator has filed a lawsuit against the man who shot the drone down seeking damages from the shooter and requesting that the federal government clarify when a drone can commit trespass (more on this lawsuit in a future post). In short, you should not shoot down a drone because you could face criminal charges and claims for damages for the destroyed drone.
To keep reading more on why you cannot shoot down a drone, click over to the Maryland Risk Management Education Blog.