Bullets in the sky?


"Can U.S. Citizen Shot Domestic Spy Drones?"

I've just read this post here on DailyTech.

First of all calling it as "Domestic Spy Drones" sounds tendentiously like a bad approach. [Edited] A friend of mine(Otávio Moraes) said that the word "domestic" is referring to native drones. Though it could also be translated as "homemade" which is why I said it sounds to be tendentious and/or ambiguous. Probably, that's due to the fact of the english language not being my native one.[/Edited]

Anyway, thinking about ballistics I'm wondering how dangerous would be shooting against "the sky" upon urban areas. Much probably a slug could eventually cause a biggest damage by "hard landing" on someone's head. Don't you think?

I could be wrong but it would be a classic situation when a problem is treated by another even bigger. You kill the cockroaches with poison and so you have a plague of scorpions. Not bad...

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  • Mmm, 2 of my favorite pass-times. Depending on the type of UAV it would be either easy or not at all possible to shoot down a drone. Normal hovering types like quadcopters, helicopters etc make easy targets even 100m up in the air. Fixed-wing however constantly moves at high speed and you will probably spend a lot of cartridges to get even one bullet through a wing, nevermind hitting the avionics. This reminds me of a situation where a person stood on a balcony on new years eve and took a shot into the air with his .303 rifle. The bullet from that weapon went through a tile roof and hit a child lying in her bed 2.5 km away. It took the police about 3 months with a lot of maths to establish the trajectory and the exact position of the shooter. This happened during the 60's in South Africa

  • If a person wants to shoot down my drone he/she has the freedom to start up his own website where him and other anti-drone and pro-privacy guys can gather to produce open source solutions to the drone menace not limited to homemade railguns, signal jammers, GPS jammers, and other signal jammers to drive us from the air.  I personally look forward to the upcoming arms race!    

  • The topic of airspace ownership recently came up in Dallas because of blanket spraying of pesticides over the city and surrounding areas to control the spread of West Nile virus through mosquitoes. People were saying all kinds of  crazy stuff like they own the airspace above their house out to the edge of space (about 100km) and that spraying would be trespassing. Yeah, it really brought the crazies out of the woodwork. At least in the United States this is not the case, land ownership and airspace have no correlation.

    As far as shooting one down with a gun that's no problem. Anybody with a shotgun has the right equipment and it wouldn't be all that different from shooting skeet. Though there will probably be other consequences for doing so. For example in most jurisdictions discharging a firearm within city limits is a felony which is a very serious thing (typically called unlawful discharge or negligent discharge). Outside of cities the states have various laws like minimum distances from a road or airport before a firearm can be discharged or some areas that are off limits completely (like a national park).

    This is an interesting conversation and for anyone curious it has already happened at least once earlier this year and in the United States and I'm sure will happen again. Since guns are around that means people will be shooting stuff and that doesn't exclude drones.

  • Hey Guys when it comes over the  back fence Sling shot and a stone ? Garden Hose?Pet Rock? Potato Cannon? Water cannon ? If it gets to close Base ball Bat.These are the "Legal" weapons in Canada you "might?"get away with using  If the drone happened to "Stray" into the line of fire by accident within 25 to 50 feet . for a longer range Good old fashioned signal mirror. If you cause it to crash  and it lands in your back yard the law will come looking they will have a GPS fix of it's last location . you better have a good story. " I was watching it and it just fell out of the sky?" or something like that . Have a Good Day!

  • Moderator

    I am so glad I don't live in the US.  I can't even believe people who consider using a firearm in the city for anything other than to protect against loss of life or serious injury.

    People don't own airspace, they own land, and for the same reason you can't stop a manned aircraft from flying over your house, you can't stop an unmanned aircraft.  If you have a complaint about the noise of EITHER type of aircraft go make a complaint about that.  But shooting down an unmanned aircraft would more than likely, under the law be considered shooting down ANY aircraft.

  • Shotguns are oprobably not too dangerous. But rifle or pistol bullets definitely can. I've heard of a story (possibly urban legend, but this sort of thing IS possible) where a KKK creep was shot at his own initiation when somebody else near him  fired a gun straight up.

    Militaries use moderately sized machine guns for indirect fire. 

  • Developer

    @Robert, I do remember that case, about the SHARK guys. There is even this video:

  • Duh, I forgot, it's already happened!  Remember that case with the gun club doing a live pigeon shoot, and an animal rights activist using a drone to film it.  They actually did shoot the drone down, so there you go!  I wonder whatever happened with that case?  

  • Sure.  But still doesn't make it legal.  So don't do it while they're looking.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see people taking offensive actions against these things.

  • Yeah, they were shooting in the 15-25 yard range.  Well, it probably would not bother anyone, unless the drone is within shotgun range, and lingering in the property.  So, I'd say if you're property is in the country side, and some evil, and nefarious drone pilot decides to invade your privacy, all bets are off. ;-)

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