Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Shooting down drones over private property

    My wife and I just moved into PA 2 months ago. Twice I've noticed drones buzzing around the area, one sweeping right over my property and kind of hanging around. I figured it was just one of my 2 neighbors playing around with their drone and didn't think much of it as this normally wouldn't bother me (I haven't met them yet to ask them). My wife was reading reports from people saying that a lot of times would-be burglars will use drones to scope out someone's property to see what they have, sometimes even going right up to the window to look inside. I did some digging on this topic and found that there are quite a few instances reported across the country of people using drones for this and other scandalous reasons (peeping tom). I figure the first step is to ask my neighbors if it's been them just playing around with their drones (my area is somewhat spread-out, if it's not one of them then somebody has to be trespassing on someones's property to fly a drone within range) and if it's not then I'll just shoot the damn thing down with an airsoft or 22 if I see it again.

    The problem is, I've been reading about people who have done this (in other states) and they get themselves into all kinds of legal trouble as it is technically "legal" to fly drones on other peoples' properties, so long as it doesn't land or otherwise interact with anything on the property. I then read about PA specifically, where it says it is not legal to fly a drone over private property. I did a search on this forum and can't find anything about it, but I figure someone here has to have some knowledge about this. So: is it legal to fly drones over private property and is it legal for me to shoot one down if it starts meddling around mine? For reference, I'm in Roseto, Northampton County.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    (Perry County)
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    Quote Originally Posted by Soclydeza View Post
    My wife and I just moved into PA 2 months ago. Twice I've noticed drones buzzing around the area, one sweeping right over my property and kind of hanging around. I figured it was just one of my 2 neighbors playing around with their drone and didn't think much of it as this normally wouldn't bother me (I haven't met them yet to ask them). My wife was reading reports from people saying that a lot of times would-be burglars will use drones to scope out someone's property to see what they have, sometimes even going right up to the window to look inside. I did some digging on this topic and found that there are quite a few instances reported across the country of people using drones for this and other scandalous reasons (peeping tom). I figure the first step is to ask my neighbors if it's been them just playing around with their drones (my area is somewhat spread-out, if it's not one of them then somebody has to be trespassing on someones's property to fly a drone within range) and if it's not then I'll just shoot the damn thing down with an airsoft or 22 if I see it again.

    The problem is, I've been reading about people who have done this (in other states) and they get themselves into all kinds of legal trouble as it is technically "legal" to fly drones on other peoples' properties, so long as it doesn't land or otherwise interact with anything on the property. I then read about PA specifically, where it says it is not legal to fly a drone over private property. I did a search on this forum and can't find anything about it, but I figure someone here has to have some knowledge about this. So: is it legal to fly drones over private property and is it legal for me to shoot one down if it starts meddling around mine? For reference, I'm in Roseto, Northampton County.
    No, you can't shoot them down.

    It's private property that belongs to another. At a minimum, it's criminal mischief to shoot it down and depending on the cost of the drone, could be at the misdemeanor level.

    That's not to say a drone can't be misused which is also a crime but it still doesn't free you up to shoot it down.
    "A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"

    "He created the game, played the game, and lost the game.... All under his own terms, by his own doing." JW34

    "Tolerance is the lube that helps slip the dildo of dysfunction into the ass of a civilized society." Plato

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    Make sure you launch a clay pigeon directly in front of it 1st and yell Pull.


    The guy above knows more about the law then me so take my advise or lack of it as a joke and nothing more. Personally if someone is spying on you or potentially spying on you directly over your property and you are in a zone where it's legal to discharge then I say game on but I guess the law says otherwise.

    Your best bet is to speak with the neighbors 1st without mentioning guns or shooting it down, if it's not theirs then hit that local PD and talk to them and fill them in in the situation.
    Last edited by Hodgie; May 20th, 2019 at 08:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    next to my neighbor, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    If one is hovering right outside my window, game on. If one is flying past my house at a high altitude,
    thats his right, just like a airplane.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    (Lancaster County)
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    Rules are written in the stone,
    Break the rules and you get no bones,
    all you get is ridicule, laughter,
    and a trip to the house of pain.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania
    (Indiana County)
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    Shooting down a drone upsets some people. It's noisy, it's violent, and it's relatively easy to locate (and prosecute/persecute the shooter).

    It is possible to build an EMP generator to deal with such. No noise, that's for sure.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    Quote Originally Posted by Statkowski View Post
    Shooting down a drone upsets some people. It's noisy, it's violent, and it's relatively easy to locate (and prosecute/persecute the shooter).

    It is possible to build an EMP generator to deal with such. No noise, that's for sure.
    Also illegal.
    Rules are written in the stone,
    Break the rules and you get no bones,
    all you get is ridicule, laughter,
    and a trip to the house of pain.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    'burbs, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    What's the law if the "invasive" drone happens to collide with another "friendly" (sacrificial) drone? Shit happens.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    Also illegal.
    Homeowner: Damn drones, time to build an emp generator space modulator.

    Two days later:
    Homeowner: AHA.... I’ve got you now drone, you came to close to my house. 3...2...1.... whoomp. Hahahahah.... I showed that drone a thing or two.

    5 minutes later
    Homeowner: hmmm why won’t my car start? Why isn’t my oven and dishwasher working. Let me look this up on my phone. Shoot, my phone doesn’t work. What can be happe....... oooohhhhhhhhh
    Last edited by internet troll; May 20th, 2019 at 09:03 AM.
    Proof Armed citizens make a difference. http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=316012

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Douglassville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: Shooting down drones over private property

    What if they're nuked from orbit and the result is a shotgun-like thundering boom?
    Sorry but I'm all out of pity right now, please try later.

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