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UAV Hunting License Applications Mount

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The Colorado town that will vote in October on a controversial ordinance to issue hunting licenses to shoot down unmanned aircraft over the town has been flooded with applications. It has prompted the town to put a whimsical spin on the plan. More than 1,000 people have sent Deer Trail Town Clerk Kim Oldfield $25 for the license, which, if legalized in a referendum by the 380 registered voters in the town of 600, would give them the right to bring down a UAV over the town. Now, some forward-thinking residents are thinking about ways the town could cash in on the law and perhaps create a festival atmosphere around it.

Oldfield told Reuters there have been proposals for a modified skeet shooting competition in which the targets are remote control model aircraft. And although the referendum, if passed, will technically give people the right to shoot at drones (at least under municipal regulations) Oldfield insists it's all in fun. "Our intention is really not to allow people to shoot things out of the sky," she said. But the resident who first proposed the ordinance is sticking to his original premise that Big Brother is not welcome in Deer Trail and the intent of the law would be to keep "the surveillance society" out. Phillip Steel says he's selling his own mock licenses until the real ones come into effect and he'll keep selling them even if the referendum fails. "They can't vote me out," he said. Meanwhile the FAA continues to warn that anyone intent on giving a UAV a belly full of lead will be breaking federal laws, the type of which people go to jail for breaking. "Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane," the agency said in a statement issued to Reuters.

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