- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2015

Now ready for citizens concerned their privacy is at stake in an increasing drone-friendly culture: Snake River Shooting Products has just introduced Drone Munition shot shell based defense rounds. “Prepare for the Drone Apocalypse,” the Idaho-based company warns in its first advertising outreach for the new line, which they describe as a “12 gauge 3-inch shot shell solution aimed at defending against drone-based privacy concerns and terror.”

The company is talking about lightweight quad-copters, which can carry cameras and are increasingly making the news when they are misused in neighborhoods, at airports and in public places.

“We are very excited to be manufacturing a product focused on defending our freedoms. We see this line as a game changer in the industry and as an important defense against rising threats to our way of life,” says Casey Betzold, president of the company, which specifically cites the case of a Kentucky father who recently shot down a drone that was hovering near his daughter, who was sunbathing in their backyard.

The father was later arrested for firing the shotgun into the air.

“I believe there are rules that need to be put into place and the situation needs to be addressed because everyone I’ve spoke to, including police, have said they would have done the same thing, he later told WDRB, a local Fox News affiliate.

“Drone Munition was created to provide defense against the danger caused when drones are misused. Drone Munition is lead free, safe for the environment and provides a very high quality load that will effectively disable a drone encroaching your property’s airspace. As a side note, the round also makes for a very high end hunting load for ducks, geese or turkeys,” Snake River Shooting Products notes in their description.

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The product line also carries this warning: “Federal, state and local laws dictate when, where and in what circumstances a firearm can be legally discharged. Drone Munition is a non-toxic hunting and self defense load, and should not be utilized for illegal activity.

Among other products, the company manufactures former Navy SEAL and “Lone Survivor” author Marcus Luttrell’s Team Never Quit ammunition line, incidentally.

The small or hobby drone presence, meanwhile, appears to be increasing. The FAA reports that commercial pilots have had some 700 uncomfortably close encounters with drones this year, noting in a public advisory, “Because pilot reports of unmanned aircraft have increased dramatically over the past year, the FAA wants to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal.”

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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