Can You Legally Shoot Down a Drone Over Your Property?


Can You Legally Shoot Down a Drone Over Your Property

More and more drones are being used today for recreational purposes, and people use drones wherever they can to fly. But can drones be flown over someone else’s property, and do you have the right to shoot them down for  that? Where can drone pilots fly with their drones and where not?  I decided to study the law in detail and find the answer to this question.

So Can You Legally Shoot Down a Drone? You have no right to shoot down a drone, even if the drone flies over your private property! When trying to shoot a drone, you will certainly damage that drone. Even with solid flight training, a drone pilot, whether professional or not, will find it difficult to control it, and that drone could hurt someone.

But the most serious is that by damaging it in mid-flight, you risk making it a dangerous projectile. Damaged, it is no longer stabilized and the debris are projectiles capable of injuring a person or an animal. And in case of injury, it is your shooter action that will be retained as the cause. It is only allowed to fly on your own private property , provided that the flight presents no danger. Whatever the size of your drone, you are affected by the ban and therefore do not have the right to fly above public space, which also includes parks. If the action is not justified, the owner has the right to turn against you.

When you Have The Right To Legally Shoot Down a Drone?

People whose rights are violated by illegal flying or filming using drones can of course defend themselves. Similar to self-defense against people, the law allows so-called self-help to damage or even destroy things that pose a danger. So if an overly curious neighbor use a drone snaps without asking you, your family or private parts of your property, you are legally permitted to take his drone from the sky or otherwise render it harmless. However, a shot is only possible if government aid, eg the police, cannot be called in time to protect their rights. Because even against drones, vigilante justice must not be carried out prematurely.

This is the legal theory. However, caution is still required. Because in the event of a dispute, you should also be able to prove all the circumstances of self-help in court, in particular that the drone has visibly filmed or photographed you on your propperty with a camera. In many cases, this may not be easy, especially when you consider possible errors in the heat of the moment. However, if such proof is unsuccessful, claims under civil law for damages or, in the worst case, a notice of property damage and thus criminal offense can be threatened.

Can a Neighbor Shoot Down Your Drone?

This is one of the cases that happened last year. The Riesa district court acquitted a man who had shot a neighbor’s drone with an air rifle over his garden last year. The neighbor then reported the shooter to property damage and presented an invoice of 1,500 Euros. However, the court followed the defendant’s arguments. His lawyer referred to the so-called self-help paragraph § 229 BGB. Accordingly, his client had to assume that someone wanted to take photos from the drone that could violate their personal rights. So his two little daughters had just been outside.

However, this does not imply that foreign drones that fly over their own property can generally be removed from traffic. A general principle of proportionality applies here, explained an employee of the Riesa district court. The special case involved a photo drone. Since the aircraft could be remotely controlled up to a kilometer, it would have been difficult to find the owner. The shooter could also have fled to his house to prevent being filmed further. Then there would be the problem that maybe pictures had already been taken. According to information from the district court, when making the judgment it had to be weighed up which suitable means the shooter could have used to have the photos deleted.

„Civil Code: 229 Self-HelpAnyone who takes away, destroys or damages a thing for the purpose of self-help, or who arrests an obligated person who is suspected of fleeing for the purpose of self-help or removes the resistance of the obligated person to an act which he is obliged to tolerate , does not act unlawfully if official help cannot be obtained in time and without immediate intervention there is a risk that the realization of the claim will be frustrated or made significantly more difficult.“

Can I fly Drone on My Own Property?

My Backyard Drone Flying

Yes.  You can fly on your own property, provided that the local conditions allow it and the applicable data protection laws and personal rights of third parties are observed. This means that you must not use the camera to shoot neighbors or anything else that is not in your possession and may be harmful or abusive. In residential areas, it is also necessary to have the consent of the property owners whose land is flown over. The maximum altitude at which you may fly a drone on your property is 100 meters.

Are Amateur Pilots Allowed to Fly Their Drones Anywhere?

No. Even if the rules for hobby pilots are not as strict as for commercial drone pilots, there are a few things you need to consider. Whether and where amateur pilots are allowed to fly depends on where they want to fly and how heavy their drone is. There is also a labeling requirement for all drones that weigh more than 250 grams. This means that the drone must be durable and fireproof, with the name and address of the owner visible.

Do We Have the Right to Shoot a Drone?

The use of a drone is strictly governed by the regulations relating to drones . Such aircraft are likely to be an inconvenience or even a danger to others when they are not used in accordance with the rules applicable in airspace. An angry reaction can occur when a drone flies over your property. Using a weapon to launch a projectile intended for a drone has surely already occurred , but is certainly not the attitude to adopt with regard to this scenario.  Therefore, we have no right to use weapons to bring down this drone, as this could potentially endanger someone.

Cases Where You Have a Right to Bring Down a Drone

When life or physical integrity is directly threatened , everyone has the legitimate right to defend themselves. Especially if a drone is on your property. But beware, if the owner of the drone files a complaint against you, it will be up to you to prove the circumstances of self-defense. A simple reaction of fear or nervousness against an intrusion into your privacy cannot justify this act.

Using a Weapon To Shoot Down a Drone

Except in specific cases well framed by the law, it is totally forbidden to use any weapon, whether in public space or at home. There is a danger that you could injure someone or, worse, kill. This concerns all defense weapons, not just firearms such as hunting rifles. A pellet rifle, a crossbow or a bow are considered the same way. Hunting is authorized to holders of a hunting license in specific places and on established dates. Likewise, sport shooting is practiced in dedicated and equipped places.

What to do When You Are Bothered By a Drone

The most normal reaction in the event of the inappropriate presence of a drone above your home is:

  • To gather as many evidence aspossible, do not hesitate to film the drone, until it lands if possible.
  • Immediately notify the police or the gendarmerie and file aformal complaint .

Let us not forget that, following a prefectural authorization, an aerial shot may be in fact legitimate. Aerial views are useful and their exploitation must simply be done with respect for your privacy .

Do You Need a License To Fly a Drone?

The law is different for each state, but many states have a common law regarding hobby drones. Whether a permit or even proof of knowledge is required for a drone flight depends on the weight and altitude of the drone. The following basically applies:

  • from 2 kg weight: proof of knowledge required (so-called drone license, valid for 5 years)
  • from 5 kg weight: approval of the state aviation authority required
  • from an altitude of 100 meters: proof of knowledge and approval required

Rules For Flying Drones By the Aviation Law

Drones, not only in places, but also in how to fly, of course, have legal rules, and breaking them can be illegal. The rules for flying drones over 200g include the following six points. Be sure to follow these rules whehn you fly your drone.

 Flying during the day
・ Flying within the visible range
・ Flying at a distance of 30m or more from people or objects
・ Flying in places where there are few people such as events 
・ Do not use for transporting dangerous goods
・ Dropping objects Do not use

There are many cases in which a person actually skipped these rules and was considered illegal. Especially when flying a drone weighing 200g or more, be careful and fly with care.

You can also apply for permission if you want to use these flying methods, and if you pass, you can fly the drone. However, these flying methods are restricted because they are likely to pose a danger to people and things. Therefore, not everyone is allowed to apply. You must have a minimum of 10 hours of flight experience and specific safety prerequisites, which are the prerequisites for a permit application. Proving your knowledge of the drone and its related laws will increase your chances of getting approval.

What Happens if You Violate the Aviation Law With Drone?

The Civil Aviation Law stipulates “guilty charges related to unmanned aerial vehicle flight,” etc. If it falls under this law, it is liable to a fine of $4,500 or less. In the past, there have been cases in which people who actually violated the Aviation Law were arrested, and it has become clear that severe acts that violate drone regulations will be severely punished.

In fact, there have been cases in which people who drone drones without permission in violation of the regulations of the Aviation Law have been arrested, and severe acts that violate the regulations on drones are severely punished Has been proven. The above example seems to have led to arrest for reasons considered to be malicious, such as not responding to the appearance requested by the police, but also avoid inadvertently violating the drone regulations set by law and regulations by mistake. Must have.

Can I Fly In or Above The Clouds?

Logically, if you put your drone in a cloud, you lose sight of it. Article 3.6 of the Space decree stipulates that “when an aircraft which circulates without anyone on board operates out of sight, it is used out of the clouds”. But as I said, it is complicated to see a drone in the clouds, because most drones do not have a strong enough Wifi signal to go that far. Another problem is that drones don’t have permission to fly that high as they would endanger aircraft.

Conclusion

Drones are expected to be used in a wide range of applications, such as: aerial photography, inspections, surveying, remote sensing and logistics. And it is therefore normal that more and more people will use drones for hobby purposes and occasionally fly over someone else’s property. But for now, laws in most countries say that you do not have the permission to shoot down a drone that is hovering over your property. However, it has been said that some people are worried about their use due to accidents at events. Continued bad news could lead to tighter regulations and reduced access to drones, which could even slow down the use of drones. In order to prevent such a situation and use the drone for work and hobbies, we hope that this article will help you understand the laws and regulations so you can operate with your drone safely.

Mario

I'm the CEO and founder of DTH. I have been passionate about Drones since I was a boy. I will bring you experience, expertise and knowledge in this new industry which I have gained over the last couple of years.

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