Deer Trail drone hunting license vote delayed again due to legal challenge

DEER TRAIL, Colo. - Deer Trail residents will not be voting today on drone hunting.

The mayor and city clerk decided to delay the vote Monday after meeting with a judge.

The issue first came up over the summer. Some in Deer Trail wanted to allow the hunting of drones because they feel the airspace above their property is private and should be protected, even by force

In August, the Deer Trail Board of Trustees split 3-3 in a vote on a proposed ordinance to allow drone-hunting licenses.

A petition drive put the issue on the ballot for an election on Oct. 8.

However, the election was moved to Dec. 10 when a citizen, Jessica Stoumbaugh, challenged the petitions saying there were not enough valid signatures and that the petition language was incomplete.

Clerk Kim Oldfield told 7NEWS that 19 signatures were needed for an election. The petition drive creator had 25 signatures. The clerk rejected four signatures and the Stoumbaugh challenged two more. The clerk felt there were still enough signatures to hold the election.

However, after meeting with a judge Monday, the clerk and the mayor decided to delay the election again until the judge ruled on the petition sufficiency issue. The election is tentatively scheduled for April 1.

Even if drone hunting is approved, the FAA has said that shooting a drone could lead to prosecution.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told 7NEWS that he would not recognize the licenses. In a letter to the Deer Trail Board of Trustees, Robinson warned that residents could face criminal charges of reckless endangerment for errant rounds fired and prohibited use of a firearm if the person is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

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