Q&A on the News

Q: The FAA and maybe other government agencies are developing rules and regulations for the personal operation of drones. If a drone is flying over your property, is that trespassing? Can you legally shoot it down?

—Mickey Creek, Ellijay

A: People in Kentucky, New Jersey and California are among those who have been arrested for shooting down drones since September 2014.

William H. Merideth, of Hillview, Ky., was charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment for shooting down a drone flying over his home in July, WDRB in Louisville, Ky., reported.

Russell J. Percenti was charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief for shooting down a drone in Lower Township, N.J., in September 2014, CBS Philly reported.

Drones shouldn’t be flown over buildings, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman told WDRB, and shooting them also could be dangerous.

“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,” the spokesman said.

People concerned about drones being operated in a dangerous manner can contact local law enforcement, Yahoo.com reported, but “in most states, flying across your property at the appropriate altitude is perfectly legal,” the article states.

“The FAA maintains the ability to take enforcement action against anyone who operates an unmanned aircraft in a manner that endangers the safety of the national airspace system,” a FAA spokesperson told Yahoo.com.

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).