Foreign Policy Blogs

Montana candidate’s campaign ad shoots down drones


The Colorado town of Deer Trail that made headlines months ago by proposing issuing hunting licenses to shoot down drones may have tossed out its “unique” anti-surveillance initiative in early April. However, Deer Trail’s rejection of “drone hunting” hasn’t stopped Montana state Senator and U.S. House candidate Matt Rosendale from shooting drones as a tool to protest government spying on civilians.

Rosendale, a Montana Republican with a distinctly heavy Maryland accent, launched an ad Monday, Apr. 14, depicting him shooting down a government drone while hanging out on a farm or ranch. After a few seconds of showing what Rosendale would look like from a drone hovering overhead, Rosendale grabs his rifle, says, “this is what I think about it,” and fires. The words “signal lost” appear on the drone’s screen.

No mention is made of Rosendale’s introduction of SB 196 in Jan. 2013, which banned the use of public and private drones for collecting information, except in cases where agencies obtained warrants, or were patrolling public lands or the Canadian border.

Domestic drone use, in particular, has become the poster child of government intrusion and overreach by libertarian Republicans, catching steam with Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) 13-hour filibuster in 2013. “Unique” expressions of this fear are likely to become more, not less, frequent as domestic law enforcement use of what was once primarily a military technology ramps up.



Hannah Gais

Hannah is assistant editor at the Foreign Policy Association, a nonresident fellow at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and the managing editor of Her work has appeared in a number of national and international publications, including Al Jazeera America, U.S. News and World Report, First Things, The Moscow Times, The Diplomat, Truthout, Business Insider and Foreign Policy in Focus.

Gais is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. and the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, where she focused on Eastern Christian Theology and European Studies. You can follow her on Twitter @hannahgais