Been tempted to shoot down that annoying drone hovering over your yard and invading into your privacy? Put the thought to rest as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decreed that shooting down a drone is a federal crime.

According to a report from publication Forbes, the FAA says one cannot shoot down a drone, interfere or disturb an individual flying an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Why?

"Regardless of the situation, shooting at any aircraft -- including unmanned aircraft -- poses a significant safety hazard. An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air," said FAA, according to a Forbes report.

In the event you throw caution to the wind and choose to bring down a drone with a string of bullets, be prepared to spend up to 20 years in prison. A drone is considered an aircraft by the FAA and shooting down aircrafts is a federal offense per the 18 U.S.C. 32 of the federal statute on Aircraft Sabotage. The statute adjudicates that "United States jurisdiction over aircraft sabotage to include destruction of any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States."

If you were wondering what the penalty is for disturbing the drone operator or threatening them, you could be looking at doing five years in prison!

"This statute now also makes it a Federal offense to commit an act of violence against any person on the aircraft, not simply crew members, if the act is likely to endanger the safety of the aircraft," the statute reads.

Interestingly, the statute does not detail what it constitutes to be an "act of violence."

While shooting down of drones in U.S. states is not a novelty -- at least 12 drones have been shot down from the sky in 5 U.S. states -- there has been no severe federal prosecution till now. However, in June 2015, we reported that a man was fined $850 by a Californian court for shooting down a drone with his shotgun.

Moreover, in September 2014, a man from New Jersey was arrested and charged with "possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief" as he shot down his neighbor's drone.

With more people deploying drones, the probability of its abuse heightens. Many people will not be thrilled by the notion of drone's roaming freely and having their hands tied.

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