Can You Shoot Down a Drone Over Your Property?

Can you shoot down a drone over your property?

Let's delve into whether shooting down a drone over your property is legal.

Can you shoot down a drone over your property? Drone hovering over property boundary fence

Image Credit: Freepik

Drones are a marvelous wonder, a testament to human ingenuity. From capturing stunning aerial footage to revolutionizing deliveries, they have significantly transformed our lives. However, that does not mean their use is without challenges, especially when it comes to privacy and property rights. No one wants to see an unfamiliar drone flying over their property without permission.

As a drone expert, I am often asked a seemingly simple question with surprisingly complex implications – “Can You Shoot Down a Drone over Your Property?” The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem at first. However, don’t worry, as here I have explored the possibility of you shooting down a drone and whether it is a good idea or not.

Is it Legal to Shoot Down a Drone?

Let’s cut to the chase about the legality of such an action. In the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), drones are officially classified as aircraft. Yes, this might surprise many of the readers, but the fact is that even small recreational drones fall under this broad category.

So, what does that mean – can you shoot down drones? The answer to that is a big “NO”. The classification of drones as aircraft makes it pretty clear that any action of shooting down a drone can be charged under the Aircraft Sabotage Act. (link to the Aircraft Sabotage Act within Title 18 of the U.S. Code) It is a felony to willfully damage, destroy, or disable any aircraft – the penalties for this can include up to 20 years in prison, along with hefty fines.

It is important to note that these federal laws are applicable even if a drone is simply hovering over your property. Even if the drone is not causing any direct harm, taking any action to destroy it, such as shooting down a drone, would likely have severe legal consequences.

State & Local Regulations

While we have discussed the federal laws regarding shooting down a drone, it is imperative to examine the state and local regulations as well. These local ordinances can add another layer of restrictions on shooting down a drone.

A person aiming a gun at a drone flying overhead, representing the act of shooting down a drone.

Image Credit: Freepik

Some areas have strict regulations regarding:

To avoid legal trouble, research the specific laws in your state, county, and city. Local law enforcement or your city’s official websites are usually good places to start your search.

Alternatives: What CAN You Do?

It is pretty clear that you cannot shoot down a drone; however, that does not mean there is nothing you can do. Here is what you should do instead:

A drone flying over a property with a question mark, symbolizing the query 'Is it legal to shoot down a drone?'

Image Credit: Freepik

Final Words

There you have it, folks – the answer to your question, “Can you shoot down a drone?” with an emphatic “NO”. However, that does not mean you are completely helpless and I have covered ways how to legally take down a drone here as well. Make sure you are well-informed and are on the right side of the law before taking any action!

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Doing so would not be good for you as you can face severe legal consequences. This includes federal charges for damaging an aircraft, potential state and local charges for property damages, and reckless endangerment. It is a high-risk solution, and you would be wise to steer clear of doing something like that.

Yes, there are several devices that you can use for similar purposes. You can utilize detectors – these will alert you if a drone is nearby, jammers – which will disrupt drone signals, and even some specialized systems that will allow you to take control of the hovering drone. However, before you can take any such action, make sure you are aware of the legality of taking such a step.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent drones from flying over your property. The best course of action you can take is to document such incidents and report any violation of your privacy & property rights to local authorities.

Why trust Brownspace?

At Brownspace, we write about what matters most to the audience. We do well-researched work to provide in-depth knowledge of drones. Additionally, we interview people using drones to ensure the credibility of the drones used and offer real-life user experience to our readers. 

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Bwown Space Author

Hi, drone enthusiasts! Born with a natural curiosity for the skies, I developed a love for drones early in life. I began flying drones in 2017 and have since piloted some of the best drones available, such as the Yuneec Typhoon, DJI Mini, Mavic Pro, Hover Camera, and Phantom 3. With passion for drones and expertise gained over the years, I would love to share my knowledge of drones at Brownspace. Stay tuned for an insider’s perspective about drones. 

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