DEER TRAIL, Colo. (CBS4)– A plan to hunt drones in the Colorado town of Deer Trail will go to a public vote after a heated debate of Deer Trail’s Town Board of Trustees on Tuesday.
The people who live in Deer Trail, located about 50 miles east of Denver along Interstate 70, turned out for a public meeting on Tuesday evening. At the center of the debate is privacy.
Phil Steel is a resident of Deer Trail, which is one square mile in size and boasts a population of 548. He believes drones are a threat to his way of life and a violation of privacy and wrote an ordinance that will allow drones to become targets.
“This is inexpensive technology. Anybody can buy them, criminals can buy them and case neighborhoods with them,” said Steel.
Deer Trail doesn’t have a known drone problem but Steel said his ordinance gives residents the right to shoot them down if they’re over a residential property. He also believes it could be a money-making idea for the town.
“We have a whole bunch of people that want to buy drone-hunting licenses. I can guarantee you one thing, if we pass it tonight we’re going to sell a bunch,” said Steel.
Not everyone believes shooting down drones is a good idea.
“This is a stupid idea,” said one resident at the meeting.
“That is a joke. You are hurting our U.S. service members. Do not vote for this thing,” said another.
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The only drone actually known to be in the area is Chris Miser. He calls the ordinance inappropriate and believes it does nothing to protect the people who live in Deer Trail.
“Punish the people behind it, not the technology,” said Miser.
After the heated debate the vote was 3 to 3 which means the issue will now go to a special election that has been scheduled for Oct. 7.
Deer Trail Mayor Frank Fields believes it will bring in tourists who want to shoot drones for sport.
At least 150 people have signed up to buy the $25 drone hunting licenses.
If the ordinance passes, Deer Trail also plans to host drone shooting events and may even pay a bounty for drones that are shot down.