Shooting down drones could mean BIG consequences

The federal government doesn’t play around. If a drone is bothering you in the air space above your property, take a picture and call police. Let them handle it.

Don’t use a gun, water hose, fishing pole or a radio signal jammer.

The Federal Aviation Administration considers a drone an “aircraft”. If you shoot at one, even on your property, there could be heavy fines, jail time, even a felony—depending if in a suburban or rural area.

Houston Police Officers’ Union president Joe Gamaldi said there's a lot of unanswered legal questions.

“If you’re within the city of Houston, there’s issues regarding discharging your firearm in a municipality. It’s a class C offense. You may also have to deal with the repercussions of criminal mischief because you’re intentionally damaging someone else’s property,” said Gamaldi.

Plus, you'll have to prove intent.

He said so far, people have been following the rules here.

“You’re average drone flyer is somebody who wants to get pictures of landscape or landmarks within the city. Ninety-nine percent of the population are going to use it in the proper way. It’s that one percent we gotta worry about,” said Gamaldi.

The FAA’s official rules don’t allow flying drones at night, as well as flying over other people, unless you get a special waiver.

There are “Peeping Tom laws” in many states.

Some cities are adopting drone-specific ordinances.

Hobbyists and commercial drone sales expect sales to exceed $12 billion in 2021.

The FAA requires you to register any drone that weighs between 0.55 pound to 55 pounds.

To fly for commercial use, such as photographer, you have to get a remote pilot certificate

If you’re caught flying a drone in a “careless and reckless manner,” you could go to jail or face a fine from the FAA up to $32,666 for civil penalties and up to $250,000 for criminal wrongs.

The Federal Drone Report promises to forward any and all reports of illegal drone activities to local authorities as well as the FAA.

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