It is a federal crime to shoot down aircraft, and that includes drones.

July 08, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I have recently had several people tell me that they would just shoot down a drone flying around them or over their home. I politely let them know that Drones are a FAA licensed aircraft and  to shoot at them would be a federal crime. And as a drone operator we have FAA guidelines and laws that we must also obey.

So if you are not aware — despite what some well-armed citizens may think, shooting at or shooting down a drone is, in fact, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.


A drone is considered a civilian aircraft. And, under Title 18 of the U. S. Code, section 32, destroying one can get you up to 20 years in jail, as well as a hefty fine.


The Drone operator has FAA guidelines and other laws that they must follow including:

FAA Guidelines - 

Additional Laws that Drone Operators must obey - 

• Reckless endangerment (a felony)

• Invasion of privacy (can easily be upgraded to a federal complaint)

• Obstruction of police/emergency services duties (a felony)

• Noise ordinance violation

• Littering


So if you find yourself faced with a drone or drone operator who may be invading your privacy, your best bet is to get as much information as you can and report it to the police and let the police handle things from there.


From Forbes’ John Goglia,

According to the FAA “regardless of the situation, shooting at any aircraft — including unmanned aircraft — poses a significant safety hazard. An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air. ”





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