The question “is it legal to shoot down a drone” is something I’ve heard many times before. In short, the answer is no. You are not allowed to shoot down a drone.
“SHOOTING DOWN A DRONE HAS THE SAME CONSEQUENCES, LEGALLY, TECHNICALLY SPEAKING, AS BRINGING DOWN AN AIRLINER OR A CESSNA”
You may have heard of that awesome company called DroneShield. They created their very own ‘anti-drone’ gun which you fire at the drone and it messes up the drones signal forcing it to land. You can watch numerous videos of this happening on YouTube. You could also use a conventional gun like this one here. Anyway, is it actually legal to do this? Is it legal to shoot down a drone if it is on your property?
A few years ago, the only people flying drones were those who were DIY enthusiasts who understood all of the complicated technicalities behind flying these things. However, as time has gone on, companies like DJI introduced consumer drones to the market. They are not cheap but are much more accessible than they used to be.
Because of the sudden spike in done popularity, there are still few restrictions on drone pilots (regarding where they can and cannot fly.) There are some rules in place but people rarely stick to them. For example, you are technically not allowed to fly a drone 30 meters closer to vehicles, boats, buildings or people. Charges of up to $9000 accrue if you do so.
So then. Let’s imagine you are in your back garden and you see a drone hovering over you. What are you legally allowed to do? Can you shoot the drone down?
“It depends a little bit on who owns it and whether or not they will take some civil action against you for damaging their property,”
They are the wise words of Jessie Taylor who is the senior vice-president of Liberty Victoria. Similarly, the CEO of DroneShield told Business Insider that:
“In Australia, it is illegal to have a countermeasure, be it as simple as jamming it or a gun that shoots a net over a drone or taking control of it. It’s completely illegal in Australia — as it is in North America or Europe — to do anything about impacting a drone.”
So there you have it – it is illegal. However, the laws surrounding drones will be constantly changing as public perception of them changes over time. Thus, if you see a drone hovering over your house, we recommend that you stay strong, and don’t attempt to shoot it down.