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“According to investigators, officers with the Lower Township [NJ] Police Department were called to a home in the 1000 block of Seashore Road on September 26th to investigate the report by a resident that his remote control helicopter (drone) was shot down,” reports. “Investigators say the resident was taking aerial photographs of his friend’s home, which is under construction.” And then . . .

While doing so, the resident told police he heard several gunshots as he simultaneously lost control of the drone.

After retrieving the drone, the resident observed multiple holes in it that were consistent with a shotgun blast.

The resident called the Lower Township Police Department and when officers arrived, he directed them to the area where he heard the shots coming from.

After an investigation, police say they determined 32-year-old Russell J. Percenti allegedly fired the shots that brought down the drone.

I called the Lower Township Police Department to find out whether it’s generally illegal to discharge a firearm within the Township. The officer at the end of the line told me residents can’t discharge a firearm within 450 feet from an occupied building, school or playground. Or in the direction of same. Or after sunset and before sunrise.

Note: getting advice from the police is always a bit dodgy. Anyway, perp Percenti wasn’t charged with unlawfully discharging a firearm. Yet. The Township po-po arrested the homeowner and charged him with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief.

The first charge comes under New Jersey statute 2C:39-4 which states “Any person who has in his possession any firearm with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.” Were the drone flights a regular occurrence? Did Percenti buy the scattergun to down the drone? No se. 

The second charge comes under New Jersey statute 2C:17-3 which punishes folks for “Purposely or knowingly damag(ing) tangible property of another or damag(ing) tangible property of another recklessly or negligently in the employment of fire, explosives or other dangerous means listed in subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:17-2.” A list which does NOT include firearms.

Again, what do I know? But let’s throw this into the mix: according to, “In New Jersey, it is unlawful to intrude upon one’s privacy in a manner that would be ‘highly offensive to a reasonable person.’ See Hennessey v. Coastal Eagle Point Co., 609 A.2d 11 (N.J. 1992).” Drone flights over your property – probably to find building code violations – strike me as offensive. Do you own the airspace above your property?

One thing’s for sure: this will not be the last drone downing case. Watch this space. Oh, and the NJ police confiscated Percenti’s shotgun. Of course. [h/t PetitionforRedress]

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  1. *SIGH* Unless it has missiles under its wings and a laser designator lighting up your house, don’t shoot the drones.

    • You might change your mind if it were your home. Too creepy for me. They are also noisy. Peeping your windows. Watching your kids. Get the picture?

      • If your first response to a misbehaving neighbor is a shotgun you may be over reacting a tad. I get that it’s creepy. But sharing a cell with bubba is also creepy.

        Non .gov drones should be filmed and reported for a first step.

        • I dunno. It was on (above) his property. Who owns the airspace above your property?

          His problem is he gave the police information. If he’d refused them entrance without a warrant, and refused to answer their questions, he couldn’t have been charged. They had no proof until he opened his mouth. You can’t run ballistics on shotgun pellets.

          “What seems to be the problem? I have no idea what happened. I haven’t heard anything. Do you think he did it himself? Sorry I can’t be more help, have a nice day.”

        • The drone (RC aircraft with camera) was being operated legally over his friend’s property. The Drone Guy had permission to be on the property, doing what he was doing, photographing the construction project. Shotgun guy (the neighbor) came from his property, shot down someone else’s property, over his neighbor’s property.

          You guys want to defend this fool? He’s lucky the drone guy and and the construction friend didn’t return fire.

        • Nobody mentioned government drones, jwm simply said that non-government drones (AKA private drones) should be filmed and reported to the authorites or sue the owner/operator of the drone for invasion of privacy.

          Look, I love shooting things but it isn’t always the solution.

      • Am I the only one who sees a tremendous opportunity in an anti-drone drone? Drone dogfights? Someone invent it, PLEASE!!!

      • No offense intended bob but you sound like Dianne Feinstein, was she perhaps exaggerating?

        “Feinstein said she encountered the flying robot while a demonstration was taking place outside her house. She said she went to the window to peek out — and “there was a drone right there at the window looking out at me.”

        She held her hand inches from her face to indicate how close it was.

        “Obviously the pilot of the drone had some surprise because the drone wheeled around and crashed, so I felt a little good about that,” she said.”


        I think the “Drone” problem is overblown. Not to say that the use by the Obama Administration would withstand real scrutiny.

      • I’m an amateur drone pilot who follows the rules, including making sure that if I’m flying anywhere near anyone’s property that I’m well over 100ft in the air, which is considered the limit to what you “own” above your property. Even then, my drones, and most consumer grade drones, aren’t capable of lofting cameras beyond a go pro, which can’t really see anything specific unless it’s hovering 10ft above someone’s head. Considering drones sound like weed-whackers, no one is hovering right over your head covertly.

        99% of people I’ve encountered while flying think it’s kinda cool, and I make sure to show them that these drones just aren’t really capable of spying. More than a few people mentioned that they were concerned about spying, and were glad to see that their fears were unfounded. It was all well and good until a guy came up to me, accused me of spying on his wife (still have no idea who he or she is), and said he would come to my house and kill me if he ever saw the drone in the air again, and then he took a swing at my brother who tried to talk some sense into him.

        Just a heads up to pretty much everyone freaking out about drones: the government, my colleagues, and myself just don’t care about you. I get that, in your own head, you think other people care enough about you to devote a robotic aircraft to “spy” on you, but the truth is, that’s really just in your head. Basically, if you’re convinced that you are being watched by “the drones,” you’re most likely having an absurd delusion of grandeur and are unduly paranoid. It may be hard to fathom, but you’re just not that interesting to the rest of us and, at least when it comes to consumer drones, technology that can actually be used to spy on you just isn’t there unless you’re willing to shell out the equivalent of a new car.

        After the incident with the violent guy who threatened me and my family, I keep a sidearm on my person and long gun close by while flying. You just don’t know what irrational, delusional people will do while acting out their paranoid fantasies. I just want to get back to figuring out how civilian drones of can help save lives and shoot some great landscape videos (and maybe some run and guns if we can find some land to shoot on!) in the process, but woe be the fool who starts flinging lead in my direction.

        • Same here. I fly all sorts of multi-rotors and model aircraft and people think that I can spy on them. I always take a tablet or phone with me so I can show them the photo’s taken on the SD card. When they see them they always say the same thing. “You can’t make out people at all” Then next question I get asked is if I could email them the pictures of the area I took because they are so cool. “Drones” or multi-rotors are just like silencers in my opinion. What hollywood makes it look like and what it really is in real life. I really hate hollywood and there “drone” BS showing up all over. I’m no goody-goody I fly model planes FPV for miles at hight altitudes and with banned FCC frequency’s but I don’t take picture peeping tom pictures.

        • So you arm yourself to use a quadcopter to film others? Somebody wants some real trouble… go pros only have limited range due to the lens. Same size cam can shoot much farther. Your surveillance toy is a problem when flying around in public.

        • Gregg….I have no idea what you’re trying to say. If you want to know what the drone footage looks like once its been transfered from a memory card (note, not what the footage looks like transmitted to my ground station which is far worse quality), here’s the video I shot the day the guy threatened to come to my house and harm my family: . Note that while I was flying towards the fireworks, there was a guy threatening to come to my house to “end things once and for all” right before he assaulted my brother.

          If you want to know what we “see” while the drone is in the air, play that video at 360p on an iphone in broad daylight. On those settings you get a rough approximation for what is visible in absolutely perfect conditions with no interference at all. In reality, the transmitted video is usually less clear than that. It just isn’t a “surveillance” tool.

        • JT,

          If you are flying that low over my property, I will shoot it down, and where I live, it is legal to discharge firearms at any time. My concern is that you are a thief looking around for things to steal, a poacher looking for an illegal hunting spot, or in the drug business looking for a place to plant weed or set up a meth lab.

          If you want to fly over my property at low altitude, under 500ft, then get my permission. if you are over 500 ft and don’t stop, then your done will probably live.

          Personally, I have flown RC planes since I was 14 and they are loads of fun. But they are always flown over property with permission to be there.

    • An untethered unmanned aerial vehicle over your property is “abandoned”. Kill it, clean it, put its pelt on the side of your barn, and its rack above your fire place. Let your friends at the lodge know what caliber you took it with and how the hunt went.

      Clone beats drone. Raise hawks and owls (both are somewhat protected species) and train them to hunt noisy plastic.

      • Forget falconry…my quad gets attacked by bats. Hummingbirds like to fly around with the little toy quad.

  2. IMO, if the drone is over your property you have the right to shoot it down. Unfortunately, this poor sap lives in NJ, so they’ll probably give him 30 years in a maximum security prison. Of course they’ll have to let a rapist out early to make room, but…did I mention this is New Jersey?

    • And you would be wrong. SCOTUS has ruled the sky above your property is a “public pathway” in a case regarding the FAA. They did not consider drones at the time. In that case residents sued to prevent aircraft from flying over their homes claiming the airspace over their property was private property, SCOTUS said no.

      Technology is often ahead of the law.

      Even if you try and down a drone with a baseball, most states have property destruction laws and if the drone you destroy is over $5000 in some states it is a felony

      • It is a public pathway 1000′ above ground level, but not below, except in controlled air spaces (airport approach and departure flightways). I would assume that this little electric drone was nowhere near 1000′ up.

        • Shooting at the drone was idiotic. Talking to the cops was more idiotic, and admitting to it was retarded. Sounds like the kind of slob we don’t need handling firearms.

          Now as for a drone flying around, who cares? BFD! They can fly drones all they want until the noise bothers me and then I’ll call the cops or shoot it down with a suppressed air rifle, not a damn loud shotgun, or other noisy instrument of pleasure. Oh, don’t answer the door and talk to cops!!!

      • Ah yes, SCOTUS. Well they sure nailed that Dred Scott case now, didn’t they?

        Just in case my sarcasm wasn’t obvious enough – SCOTUS is NOT the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong.

    • Point me to the text if I am wrong but I did not read anywhere that the drone was over the shooter’s property. It is quite possible to shoot down a drone that is outside of the bounderies of one’s property and that is my take on this story, which should be criminal.

      • Folks, keep in mind when you shoot a flying object it does not drop like a lead weight. The alleged (sarcasm) shooter may have taken aim while this “drone” was hovering by his bathroom window. We don’t know if it landed on his property and the pilot is just making this up – I know the police and media are not going to take the word of the man who resorted to a shotgun (at least not in NJ).

        Long story short, don’t shoot down another persons property – exhaust other options first. I would like to think that the “alleged” shooter at least attempted to speak to the pilot who likely did what most other humans would do, intentionally flew the drone closer to the guys house.

        Personally my response to the situation…”I’m sorry, I didn’t see your drone when I was waving my 30′ ladder in the air”.

        • This response makes it clear you don’t know the topic being discussed.
          These are quadcopters, or multirotors. They do not have fixed wings. If you shoot them while they’re hovering, they aren’t going very far from its current point of origin.

  3. Who knows, maybe his neighbor was in a feud with him. Regardless I would have asked the neighbor to get their drone out of my airspace 😀

    • Everyone knows the proper way to deal with this is to scramble your drones, and escort them from your “Air Defense Identification Zone” and back to his own airspace.

      • Mr. Percenti did scramble his drones, all 429 of them, on an intercept course at 1350 fps. Unfortunately their airbrakes failed and they slammed into the neighbor’s drone causing a catastrophic failure.

    • Uhm, no can do. New Jersey Statutes – Title 2C The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice – 2C:39- 3 … blackjack, metal knuckle, sandclub, slingshot, cestus or similar leather band …think again, for New Jersey like New York City……….bans EVERYTHING.

      • A little off subject but After retiring from the military, my wife and I returned to NJ, South Jersey that is( my wife was a Jersey girl) I brought back my Remington 870 12 Gauge shotgun and two 9mm pistols. Over the years, when I went to shoot,I was always asked for the registration. As I told the law enforcement, they were not registered and I wasn’t going to register them. I repeatedly told them I didn’t have to to register then either. My Chief of Police was a good guy and knew me real well ( I had gotten into local politics ). The first and last time he asked me about the guns, he asked how I could buy them in NJ and not register them. I let him know the shotgun was a Christmas gift from 1973, so it wasn’t bought in NJ, and the two 9mms were bought at the Nuremberg US Rod and Gun store while I was stationed there. I had the ATF paperwork for them to be brought into the US. The Chief laughed and called me a smart-ass. He made sure none of the locals ever bothered me again. And as I became involved in the County Emergency Services and used the county firing range until they changed to cops or county employees only in NJ is its not only what you know but more importantly who you know. It the Jersey way of life.

        • It’s like that in Venezuela, too.

          Shame you have to have an “in” with the local politicians to be free.

      • There most certainly is evidence.

        The radiated signal itself. Radio direction finding is not a problem, just ask anyone who has ever had their bootleg / pirate radio station busted by the FCC.

        • Brother of a friend use to do the pirate radio thing when he was in college – something that is broadcasting signal for hours at a time will get you caught. But cycling a jamming device on and off a few times to simulate problems with a remote control toy AC unit followed by turning it on long enough to crash the thing…especially using a low power transmitter is unlikely to cause much fuss or get you caught. Still it is worth keeping in mind that these drones are really just toy RC aircraft and if your neighbor isn’t using the thing to play peeping tom with,why would you care?

    • 2W Blue Laser…. aim it at the battery or motor for 30 seconds and it’s down with no firearm involved. Just don’t point it at something with people in it.

      of course a more reasonable course of action might be to use a laser to blind the camera without destroying the drone.

      • Pointing a laser at an aircraft (and I doubt they will not consider the drone an aircraft) will likely get the undivided attention of the Feds.

        Especially since the recent change by the FCC allowing movie companies to film from drones.

    • Slingshots are illegal in New Jersey. I kid you not. Also, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to hit anything more than 10 feet away and stationary.

      That being said, as a resident of New Jersey, I live in a gun-tolerant area and a very, very red-voting country. My neighbor has, on several occasions, called the police on me while I was target shooting on my property. Each and every time, the police showed up (they HAVE to when it’s a firearms-related call), and then see that my backstop is… well… a mountain and I am well outside of the hunting requirement for distances from residences which don’t apply to recreational shooting, anyway. So they go on their way. Now I just call them ahead of time to let them know to ignore that guy. I would shoot down a drone without hesitation.

      But even more tempting, since the drone is PROBABLY a Parrot AR, would be to use that hack some guy came up with to jack the drone’s wifi using another drone and take control of it. The troll factor would be so much more fun.

      • You must be up in north NJ. My neighbors across a stretch of woods shoot all the time but I’ve never met them. Not too many places to shoot up here.

        • March right over there, knock on the door, and give them a piece of your mind. They are out there shooting their guns, and they haven’t invited you. 🙂

      • Impossible to hit anything more than 10 feet away and stationary?

        That comes as news to all the squirrels I killed out of trees with a slingshot back in the early 70’s, using pieces of 00 buck.

        I could hit a beer can at about 40 yards away with my slingshot. Nothing special, either. A nice piece of flat ash plank, carved into a classic “Y” sort of shape, some flat ribbon natural rubber bands, and a leather pouch.

        Hitting something with a slingshot is like hitting something with a primitive bow & arrow. You need practice – 1,000’s of rounds of practice.

        Do that, and you can make snap shots and take birds out of the air – as I did. Not every time, but enough times that bluejays and crows decided to give me wide clearance when they’d see me walking down a dirt road.

  4. Gun owners who use guns to solve problems that have non-violent alternatives are of great concern to those who favor gun control. And it confirms their perception that all gun owners are trigger happy yahoos whose first impulse is always to shoot.

    Should have been an IGOTD.

    • Why? The drone was being used for unlawful stalking as well as trespassing. The use of the shotgun for home defense against same has well established legality.

        • On your property, no immediate threat is necessary. The drone was trespassing. That alone is sufficient cause. Since no human was involved, the argument for defense of property can be made. No different than shooting a neighbor’s dog that attacks your cat.

        • Perhaps in your state you can shoot anything trespassing on your property — the neighbor’s cat that pees in your garden, the kid’s football that flew over the fence, etc. — but as a rule of thumb “property owners cannot use deadly force to protect property. But property owners may be able to shoot at trespassers in self-defense if they fear great bodily harm or death.“.

        • The FAA considers “airspace” to begin immediately off the ground of your property. So, even if it were legal to shoot at a radio control quadcopter, ( I will NOT call them drones ) you can’t use “protecting your property” as an excuse. As it’s in “airspace” and not on the ground, the law doesn’t consider it on your property. As much as I would love to go out shooting down PETA’s quadcopters, it’s just not legal.

          Now, invasion of privacy is a different story, but I am not aware of anywhere that you can shoot peepers….

        • Isn’t it better to confront the owner of the drone before gunning the drone down? Besides, it wasn’t trespassing. The drone was on drone guys property.

          Again, shooting s*** isn’t the best solution all the time.

      • Not in New Jersey it isn’t. The threat has to be in your home, you have to have already retreated as far as you can go, and they have to have a weapon such as a knife or a gun. A bat is no good. And you have to shoot them from the front to show they were actively attacking you. Bonus points for suffering injury already.

        New Jersey is the stupidest of stupid. We are required by law to bend over and take it. Or else.

        Case in point: In the next town over, a man was arrested a few years ago for shooting a bear in his home. The problem was, the bear wasn’t facing him at the time, so it was shot in the back. But somehow, that bear wasn’t a threat to anyone in the home, so the man was clearly a felon and needed to be arrested and his rights removed.

        • Yes the guy was an Idiot for shooting down the drone and then admitting it to the cops.
          for those of you talking about ‘Castle Doctrine’ in NJ it only applies to people. It does NOT make mention of the weapons being used against you and you ONLY have to be in fear of Bodily HArm

          “Deadly force may be used to repel a person attempting or actually committing arson, burglary, robbery, or other criminal theft or property destruction.
          However, either of two sets of circumstances must be present before deadly force can be used for the protection of premises.
          First, the occupant reasonably believes that the person against whom it is employed is using or threatening to use deadly force in the occupant’s presence.
          Or second, a person reasonably believes he could terminate or prevent the commission of a crime but if he used less than deadly force he would expose himself or another to a substantial danger of bodily harm.”

      • This has already been covered in this post, but I’m replying directly to you to associate the answer with your inaccurate statement.

        There was neither stalking nor trespassing in this case, so the guy with the gun was ccompletely out of line. There were three people involved, call them A, B, and C. Person A was flying a drone/UAV over B’s house on B’s property with B’s permission. Person C shot down A’s drone over B’s property.

        Put this scenario on the ground and it becomes clear. This is your neighbor shooting your friend’s R/C car in your front yard because he doesn’t like the sound.

  5. Just a little former-prosecutor perspective here: The suspect would have been in possession of the shotgun at the moment he fired it at the drone, thus completing the “unlawful possession” type charge if shooting the drone was in fact unlawful; his purpose when he first bought the shotgun is pretty irrelevant. As for the unlawfulness of shooting the drone, the ‘list’ that firearms do not appear on looks to me to be in reference to the reckless or negligent destruction of someone else’s property; as for the intentional destruction of property, the method used does not appear to be limited by the statute. So in short, the charges do not look quite as bogus as the author seems to be implying.

    • Oh, but I’m pretty sure that destroying property used to harass or stalk you is perfectly legal. It would be no different than destroying a peeping tom’s camera you find in your tree.

    • Of course, there would be insufficient evidence if the shooter had simply refused to talk to the police.

      Without testimony from the shooter you have 1) an angry neighbor (not reliable testimony) and 2) a drone with holes in it.

      How did the holes get there? What are they from? If they are from a shotgun who shot the drone?

      Who knows. It’s up to the state to build a case that would let them bring the accused to trial and secure a conviction.

      The moral of this story is that law enforcement is not your friend and you should never talk to the police,

  6. Sir, I won’t answer questions without my attorney present. Please get off my property immediately.

    Why is that so difficult?

    • Good question. Although since NJ is something like a prison camp, I assume the cops knew damn well he had a shotgun.

      I hope he made them work for it at least.

    • If you are suggesting what I think you are suggesting… that was similar to my first thought as well. I was trying to think how I could “weight” the corners of a blanket/sheet/towel and throw it up to entangle the thing.

  7. We’re going to see some more specific legislation/regulations soon enough. With camera-equipped drones becoming more and more poplar, the increase of the number (if not the percent) of abuse of the technology will push the initiative. I would like to see more respect for “personal airspace” than we currently get, but that will probably not happen.

  8. Wait, if I read this right, there were 3 parties here. Guy 1 owned the (drone) RC aircraft. Guy 2 (the friend) owned the property and the house under construction. Guy 3 owned the shotgun and used it to shoot down Guy 1’s property (drone) over Guy 2’s property (house and land). At no time does the article state that drone was over the shotgun man’s property.

    My question is, how does anyone think the shooter is justified in shooting someone’s property out of the sky over someone else’s land that is not his own?

    Someone who starts an armed conflict on property that is not their own is lucky that the owners of the land and the drone didn’t shoot back.

  9. should have shot the thing when its was heading in to his yard with something big enough to bring it down into his possession, this garbage that fell out of the sky, finds its way into some far off undisclosed dumpster.

    Drone? What drone?

  10. The dude with the drone should have gotten permission before invading his airspace. However, that does not give the other guy a right to start shooting. This is hometown USA, not the middle east! Both parties acted irresponsibly.

  11. To the person who said “Slingshot.” They are illegal in NJ.

    This guy likely jumped to the shotgun far too quickly. Owning a firearm in NJ at all means you already know it’s an anti-gun state, I’m not sure how he thought that was going to play out (read: he didn’t think first). I wouldn’t even shoot a bear in NJ until it at least made it into my house, you are still likely to be arrested in this state. I love my firearms too much to just willingly send them to an eternal grave (read: evidence room).

  12. Actually, it’s pretty funny. Aside from the cost of the drone, no other harm was done. It’s a good story to tell the grand kids someday, as long as it ends with, “. . . and then I had to pay for a replacement drone.”

    I don’t recommend it, but it’s hardly something to act all huffy about.

    • Unfortunately it happened in NJ, home of the evil guns that shoot people on their own…therefore this guy is facing some serious charges. He won’t be laughing much any time soon.

  13. I see a future of drone on drone attacks…. you see a quadcopter, you send up some disposable drone to intercept it…Sort of like Iron dome.. US style.

  14. Is it considered bad form to moon a drone? ‘Cause if I did, I’m sure it would be more of a deterrent to future incursions than two barrels of birdshot.

  15. I don’t understand what would possess someone to do this; I have a feeling there is more than meets the eye with this neighborly dispute which will probably never come out. You don’t just shoot at a drone cause it is there.

  16. Firstly, please stop calling rc toys “drones” its sort of like calling a marlin 60 an assault rifle.

    Secondly “opps I hit your toy with my frisby”
    “Oops I accidentaly hit it with my pressure washer”
    “Dude your $^&%$^$#^&% toy totally messed up my line while I was practicing my flycasting the bill is $$”

    shotgun != first resort/

  17. Apparently my opinion won’t be popular, but my “other” hobby is flying RC helicopters. No cameras, flying at a virtually empty public park and people will go out of their way to give me sh!t.

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn about why they think they need to do this, but I thought the people on this site valued personal freedoms more than that. Yes this site is all about guns but respecting people’s rights in general ought to be high on the list as well.

    If you are worried about surveillance, take it up with your government, not some schmuck down the street trying to have a little fun outside of the gun range.


    • I don’t think anyone here is against flying them in a public park. Over my house would be a different story. I’m not going to go Rambo on the thing, but I will try to address concern with the wannabe “pilot”.

    • It’s hard to distinguish “having a little fun” from “using a camera equipped UAV to case my property for future robbery” or “using a camera equipped UAV to take pictures of my wife” or “using a camera equipped UAV as part of surveillance and targeting of my children for a kidnapping”.

      I have no idea if there is a camera on your toy or not.

      I have no way to determine your intent.

      But I can think of a lot of ways it could be used to threaten my safety, the safety of my family, or my property. If you want to fly it, fly it on your own property or on public land.

  18. really? I am a remote control airplane pilot and the fact that people are so scared over a small quad copter in the area, is direct evidence that the media has people brain washed that anything that flies with a camera is bad. ok, if its hovering near a window its bad but if its just over head and your going about your normal business, why should you be worried? if you don’t like it or find it offensive, find the owner of the quad copter and ask them to please stop flying over your property. come on people, think for yourself and stop letting the media dictate your opinions.

    • Most of the people commenting here are speaking of invasion of privacy. Does the thing have cameras? Would you want that thing flying around outside your windows? Getting a shot at your wife, your daughter, or your son? The guy can fly his drone any where else so why invade people’s privacy?

  19. Wow. I’m a gun owner. I’m also a collector of RC toys. Helicopters, cars, trucks, and what the media is calling “drones”. These aren’t drones. These are toys with cheap little cameras attached to them.

    Shooting at them with a gun is the same as shooting at a kid whose baseball just went over the fence and into your yard.

    If you honestly think that shooting at a toy is the appropriate response, I think you need to have your firearms taken away.

    • It’s not even close to that. A hunk of parts and plastic doesn’t bleed. You can yell at a kid to get out of your yard. You can’t yell at a drone, model plane or whatever. There are very few people who would shoot a kid because they ran after a ball in someone’s yard. His first instinct shouldn’t have been to shoot it down. End of story.

        • The man wasn’t in the neighbors yard. So the kid ball comparison doesn’t work. Both men were in the wrong so the discussion is mute to begin with. I’m pro gun but the fact is the dude should have used his head. We don’t have all the information so again the discussion is pointless.

  20. Just build a radio jammer next time, and watch that sucker crash and burn. Or, get your own radio controller, make the signal really strong and fly it into your neighbors car.

    • Good luck jamming modern rc tech. The 2.4ghz stuff is now extremely sophisticated. And, especially since a lot of long range drone users use UHF. Which you can’t transmit on legally without a HAM license (which the dorne user will have…interfering w/other communications is not legal).

      I don’t see what the drone guy did wrong. Flying around and taking pictures of things isn’t illegal. As long as you aren’t snooping through someone’s windows and “spying” on them. Which is already illegal. And doesn’t require a drone, just the use of a long lens. But we don’t ban long lenses. Or let you shoot at someone’s tele lens taking pictures of your house. Ie, just as takings pics of someone’s house is fine, but sneaking into the bushes and setting up and taking high rez shots through the bedroom would not be…the drone stuff is not anything new and doesn’t require any new laws.

      if that person is flying the drone outside your window and videoing you get dressed, that’s one thing. If it’s flying over your property and taking video as it flies, deal with it, lol. Just common sense. I mean you couldn’t legally (or morally) destroy a satellite that was flying overhead snapping pics and that happened to see your house. That’s someone’s property. Same w/the drone (which isn’t a drone, since it was probably controlled, it’s just a multi-rotor aircraft).

      Do people think shooting at the google street view car would be okay? I seriously hope not. Yet that is a bigger “invasion of privacy” than this is overall. But we deal w/it, it’s the way it is–close your damn blinds and/or skylights. Grow a hedge that blocks the view from the air. Use common sense.

      • A 2.4GHz radiator needn’t be licensed, as the FCC reserves the 2.4GHz band for unlicensed emissions, part 15 devices, etc. You just have to be in compliance with the FCC regs – which call for a maximum power limit.

        All one needs is a few watts of broad-spectrum energy and a high-gain, tightly directional antenna (a thick wire mesh dish, used in WiFi PTP systems would be perfect), and even a frequency-hopping system is overwhelmed. As the noise level on a spread spectrum system goes up, the effective bandwidth goes down, and at some point, the ability to transmit commands to the receiver within the response time required by flight characteristics is exceeded, resulting in loss of flight control.

        FWIW, I’ve been a ham radio operator since I was 12. Lots of hams have been into guns since, well, forever. Back when I was a kid, you’d see guys selling guns at ham flea markets as well as WWII surplus radio equipment, surplus test equipment, etc, etc. Ham flea markets used to be a nerd’s shopping paradise.

        • “Ham flea markets used to be a nerd’s shopping paradise”

          They still most certainly are.

          A great place to “Get Your Geek On”. Just Google “Ham Fests”.

  21. “Any person who has in his possession any firearm with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.” Were the drone flights a regular occurrence? Did Percenti buy the scattergun to down the drone?”

    I am no legal expert but my interpretation of that statute is not that the shotgun was purchased for that intended use but that mere “possession” before the shot was fired is where this applies. Firing at the drone implies purpose. It doesn’t even have to be the owner of the gun that can be charged with possession to use unlawfully.

  22. The story doesn’t say it was OVER his property. It could have been over the neighbor’s property, which would amount to the equivalent of taking pictures of your neighbor’s house while sitting on the roof.

    They don’t say what kind of R/C copter it was, it might not have been able to take anything much better than webcam video, depending on how much it cost.

    As for what he was charged with, basically he was being charged with using a gun to destroy another person’s property, which would be an illegal use of the gun. Of course, I am no attorney.

  23. You certainly don’t own or control the airspace above your property. A 747 at cruising altitude in autopilot over your lot is an “unauthorized drone overflight.” You don’t have any legal recourse against that; not against a survey flight at low altitude. You can’t shoot down an aircraft for “trespassing.”

    • Even if, imagine, you owned and controlled all the air above your property, it wouldn’t be okay to randomly shoot things flying above your house that weren’t endangering your safety. If it were a libertarian society, they wouldn’t get arrested for shooting the drones down or banning a jet from flying through their little bubble, but society would shun them and they’d probably not be able to travel on anyone’s roads, purchase water, electricity, etc. It wouldn’t be a problem, even if you assumed it ,because society would shun the behavior.

      As things are now it’s not much different really. If someone is flying a model aircraft/heli/multirotor and keeps crashing it into your house–then that’s a different story. If someone is flying a multi-rotor outside your bedroom window all the time and videoing it, no one is going to mind if you down it. That’s clearly wrong. Someone flying up above and taking a wide angle shot of your house, while not endangering anyone. That’s fine, deal with it lol. Just like someone taking pictures of your house is fine, but sneaking in and setting up right outside your window is not–just sort of a common sense thing.

      Now if FLIR tech gets cheap and everyone is always using them, that might raise some weird conundrums. 🙂

  24. Not to drone on, but I think this hole experience will teach the pilot a valuable lesson about personal space. I always say, the best place to fly your drone is in a remote area!

  25. I also love playing with RC aircraft. I’d be unbelievably angry if somebody shot down an RC helicopter of mine. “He might be taking pictures of my family!” Is not a valid defense without proof.

    Also, small, unarmed, remote controlled, privately owned aircraft are not drones. They’re RC aircraft.

  26. “In New Jersey, it is unlawful to intrude upon one’s privacy in a manner that would be ‘highly offensive to a reasonable person.’ See Hennessey v. Coastal Eagle Point Co., 609 A.2d 11 (N.J. 1992).” Drone flights over your property – probably to find building code violations – strike me as offensive. Do you own the airspace above your property?”

    Nothing in the article leads me to believe that the person who shot down the drone was the owner of the home that was under construction.

    “Investigators say the resident was taking aerial photographs of his friend’s home, which is under construction.”

    The house he was photographing belonged to a friend and he was probably either doing it with permission or by request of the owner. The person who shot it down was probably a different neighbor.

  27. The guy who shot down the drown got what deserved for living in NJ. What did he expect? Where I live there is not a jury in the state that would convict me for doing the same and I will if the opportunity arises. Nerd culture be damned, thats invasion of privacy.

  28. When will you ol’ fudds learn. Shooting shit first is not the best course of action. When I was a teen, we had a lot of fudd folks claiming you do this on my property, and I’ll do this and destroy it. So when they did, we just keep vandalizing their house until the damage added up to so much, they would just move. You’ll be surprised how much teens and young adults will do if you just try to talk it out and compromise. If they don’t listen, well, at least you have decent excuse now.

  29. A gun that shoots a Net under pressurized air probably would NOT be considered a firearm.
    Someone could probably build one out of a standard Air Compressor.

  30. I can think of a few items under $40 at walmart that are almost completely noise free that would down the drown. And they’re so common no court could convict. Circumstantial evidence would convict the entire neighborhood.

  31. If the drone was over his property or had been peering over a fence onto his property, he should have reported it. Taking it down with a shotgun in town was foolish. He could’ve hurt someone depending on the trajectory of his shot. If he wanted to bring it down, he should’ve used a net.

  32. Contrary to all the “jaihouse attorney’s” here as soon as the drone is airborne there aren’t any laws created privacy or otherwise that have jurisdiction. The only regulations that must be followed are dictated by the FAA and they have decided they are aircraft so they could regulate them. As aircraft they have the same laws attached that manned aircraft do so any attack in any way is a federal offense. I strongly suggest googling the penalties for firing upon an aircraft. The supreme courts have decided in every privacy case that once you leave your dwelling you have NO expectation of privacy ANYWHERE research it as ignorance of the law is no defense. Thank google for that one. The drones may operate from ground level to 400 feet above ground and even the 400 feet limitation is a Suggestion and not yet a “do not do” regulation. Any unmanned aerial vehicle MUST give way to a manned aircraft at all times. The truth that detail from any consumer available cameras just isn’t there and once the drone is above 75 feet detail is just not there. Oh and by the way those of us who do fly also have available to us signal amplification that will render everything you use remotely and regularly useless as it will blast out amplified signal high enough to get Mar’s attention. It too is controlled by the FCC regulation which limit transmission power. So although we can source and attach we can’t lawfully use but that cuts both ways so put your jammer away as as soon as I know your using it I can show you how ineffective it can be and we can both pay our FCC fines. For everyone in fear of these horrible threats please read some of our history or be forced to repeat it. Alarmists and those who profit from creating fear and public hysteria have always been there. The first cars made the most idiotic laws created by the same idiocy. Funny it doesn’t seem to have worked out like they all predicted has it? For god sake educate yourselves from sources without misguided interests so you may intelligently make sound decisions. I support your right to bear arms and protect yourself as strongly as i support the rights of drone operators. So much so that for those places that local government have attempted to prevent use of drones I warn I might just be the guy who rolls up and legally parks his truck, sets up his $10,000.00 equipment on the solid bed cover of his Raptor pickup and takes off as once I’m in the air all any law enforcement can do is watch and when I land back on my bed their municipal laws preventing use were immediately proven useless as they may only prevent take off and landing from real property. Ill close this with the FAA hastily rolled out a registration program for these aircraft which will be as useless as gun registration has been. They just can’t figure out that those intent on doing harn won’t be registering the weapons they plan to do so with. Worse yet they didn’t register drones the registered owners which won’t stand to its first challenge on so many levels highlighted by the fact that it is a powerless edict as it has not been formed or implemented through the legislative process that any other law which would limit a freedom must follow. So enjoy your weapons safely and why not get know your neighbor as he’s happy to show off his toy and what it saw. You’ll be operating as a true American and making your own decisions. We true Americans are here for our personal freedoms and opportunity to be the master of our own economic destiny lets all practice such in an intelligent way.

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