By James Daniels, July 18, 2013.
Deer Trail, Colorado has joined the backlash against the use of surveillance drones. According to ABC 7 News in Denver, the town board will vote on an ordinance to create drone hunting licenses and offer a $100 bounty to successful hunters.
Aptly-named Phillip Steel, a resident of the small town that lies about 60 miles east of Denver, drafted the ordinance, as notes ABC 7 News. According to the story, he stated, “We do not want drones in tow. They fly in town, they get shot down.”
And, while the town’s mayor believes the ordinance is a novelty, Steel’s motivations stem from the growing threat of big brother. As ABC 7 News reports, Steel noted, “This is a very symbolic ordinance. Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way.” Steel ultimately concludes, “To him it’s a novelty, yes. To me, I’m serious.”
If passed, the ordinance would become the latest in a series of measures aimed at curbing drones. The first occurred in February when Charlottesville, Virginia passed a resolution calling on the state and federal government to prohibit information collected by drones from being introduced in court and pledging to abstain from similar uses within the city.
In April, Idaho passed a bill requiring a warrant for drone surveillance in most cases. Later that month, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law limiting their use to preventing an imminent danger to life or serious property damage. The Florida law also requires police to obtain search warrants before using drones to collect evidence unless a credible terrorist threat exists.
Then, Tennessee passed a law in May requiring warrants to use drones except for specific circumstances such as a terrorist threat.
Texas followed suit in June with the Texas Privacy Act, although the law has several questionable loopholes.
Montana and Virginia have also passed their own laws in an effort to combat the use of drones. Finally, in addition to the six mentioned states, 27 others have active legislation on the matter, according to the ACLU.
The surge in anti-drone legislation is welcome news for liberty-minded Americans, but the federal government will likely continue its aggressive push to curtail civil liberties through its funding of aerial surveillance. Perhaps the Obama Administration’s arrogance will haunt it in the mid-term elections, forcing it to battle a Republican-controlled Congress as the sun begins to set on its miserable reign.