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Colorado town proposes $100 'drone bounty'

Colorado town proposes $100 'drone bounty'

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Normally, if you shot down an aircraft owned by the federal government, you'd be in trouble. But a small Colorado town named Deer Park is looking to carve out an exception, proposing a $100 bounty to any hunters who shoot down unmanned drones that appear to be "owned or operated by the United States federal government." The ordinance would also require a drone-hunting license, issued after a background check and a $25 fee.

The resident who drafted the ordinance, Philip Steel, was quick to say he doesn't expect many to cash in on the bounty. "This is a very symbolic ordinance," Steel told local reporter Amanda Kost. "Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society."

But while Deer Park hasn't seen any confirmed drone traffic yet, the idea is hardly far-fetched. The FBI has already admitted to using drones over U.S. soil, and Customs & Border Protection service recently stepped up its drone missions over both the Mexican and Canadian borders. Beyond federal agencies, the FAA has cleared 300 local agencies for drone use.

Even if Deer Park doesn't end up with many drone sightings, the ordinance could still work as a tourist stunt. The town clerk has even proposed a drone-themed skeet-shooting festival as a way of drawing in local visitors. Otherwise, it's sure to make drone pilots a little more wary of steering crafts over the town. As Steel told a reporter, "They fly in, they get shot down."