Dan Gilmore / August 3, 2015

Man Arrested After Shooting Down Drone Over His Property

What ever happened to private property rights?

William H. Merideth was arrested Sunday after he shot down an $1,800 drone that was hovering over his property, one he suspected was eyeing his sunbathing daughter behind a six-foot privacy fence. Initially, the drone seemed to fly away when Merideth’s daughter shooed it away. When it came back, the Kentucky man got his shotgun. “I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’ Within a minute or so, here it came,” Merideth recounted. “It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky. I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.” Four men confronted the contraption shooter, saying they were merely photographing a neighbor’s house. When the police arrived, they arrested Merideth on charges of criminal mischief and wanton endangerment first degree. This was about a month after another Kentuckian — one who’s running for president — said he’d do the same thing if a drone came buzzing over his property. Furthermore, this comes at a time when Federal Aviation Administration has a stranglehold on commercial drone use through regulation. Drone use is growing and the laws have not caught up. Indeed, they should be the exact opposite of what they are today: There should be the freedom to fly drones, and there should be the freedom to defend property and privacy from encroachment from the technology.

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