DEER TRAIL, Colo. (CBS4/AP) – Voting is underway in a small Colorado community that wants to issue licenses to drone hunters.
The measure in the rural Arapahoe County town of Deer Trail is a tongue-in-cheek challenge to federal surveillance programs. Federal aviation authorities say it’s a crime to shoot at drones, but some people in town call the vote a novelty response to show displeasure and raise money through permits.
Deer Trail’s town clerk, Kim Oldfield, said voting was steady after polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and results are expected within hours of polls closing at 7 p.m. Oldfield says Deer Trail has 348 registered voters, but many of those are likely inactive.
Last August CBS4 talked to Deer Trail residents about the proposed ordinance. One resident, Phil Steel, believes drones are a threat to his way of life and a violation of privacy and wrote the 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 … we’re going to sell a bunch,” Steel said last August.
“That is a joke. You are hurting our U.S. service members. Do not vote for this thing,” said another resident.
The Colorado Municipal League says more than 140 Colorado towns are holding municipal elections Tuesday.
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