Florida Man Shoots Down Walmart Drone in Lake County and is Facing Legal Implications

The Legal and Safety Implications of Shooting Down Drones

The Incident

Recently, in Lake County, Florida, a 72-year-old man named Dennis Winn shot down a Walmart delivery drone, mistaking it for an invasion of privacy. Winn fired a single shot from his handgun, causing over $2,500 in damages to the drone. As a result, he was arrested and faces charges, including shooting at an aircraft, discharging a firearm in a residential area, and criminal mischief.

Legal Implications of Shooting at Drones

The FAA classifies drones as aircraft, making shooting at them a federal offense. This can lead to severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. In addition to federal charges, Florida’s state laws impose strict penalties for discharging firearms recklessly. Winn’s actions violated these laws, exposing him to criminal charges and potential civil liability, as Walmart could seek compensation for the damages.

Aviation Law Overview

Aviation law encompasses regulations for both manned and unmanned aircraft. The FAA’s Part 107 regulations govern commercial drone operations, mandating rules such as maintaining visual line-of-sight and avoiding flights over people. These rules ensure safety and privacy while allowing the benefits of drone technology. Shooting at drones disrupts controlled airspace and poses significant dangers to other aircraft and people on the ground.

Safety Concerns: The Danger of Stray Bullets

Shooting bullets into the air presents significant safety risks. Bullets fired upwards must come down, often unpredictably, and can cause severe injuries or fatalities. Winn’s actions endangered not only himself but also his neighbors and anyone in the vicinity, underscoring the reckless nature of such behavior.

Community Responsibility and Legal Assistance

Being a responsible community member means understanding and adhering to laws that protect public safety. Resolving conflicts through legal means is crucial. At The Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson, we emphasize the importance of acting responsibly and respecting the rule of law.  In fact, developing as strong community is part of our mission.

However, we understand that people can make poor decisions. If you find yourself in legal trouble for actions such as shooting at a drone, our firm can help mitigate the punishment. Whether facing criminal charges, civil liabilities, or FAA penalties, we are here to provide the necessary legal representation.


The incident involving Dennis Winn highlights the legal and safety implications of shooting at drones. It underscores the importance of understanding aviation laws and acting responsibly to ensure community safety. At The Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson, we are committed to educating our clients and community about the legal ramifications of their actions and promoting a safer, more responsible society.

Watch Dennis Winn talk about the incident himself: YouTube Video.

In conclusion, adhering to drone operation laws is essential for public safety and responsible technology use. By following these regulations and acting responsibly, we can prevent incidents like the one involving Winn and promote a safer environment for everyone. If you or someone you know has made a poor decision and is facing legal trouble, our firm is here to help navigate the complexities of the legal system and mitigate potential consequences.




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