Americans With Guns Are Hunting Walmart's Delivery Drones

Screenshot: Wing
Screenshot: Wing

Walmart recently partnered with drone delivery startup Wing to offer packages shipped same-day by air. There is a laundry list of hurdles to overcome in order for this to be a reality, from regulatory approval, technological integration, and simply making it cost-effective to operate. One of the hurdles that Walmart and Wing have recently stumbled over is gun owners. Last week a Florida man admitted to shooting down a Walmart delivery drone, which he claimed was surveilling him, with a 9mm pistol as it flew over his home.

Lake County resident Dennis Winn saw the drone, went inside to get his gun from his safe and fired a single shot at the drone, which was “roughly 75 feet in the air.” Winn is apparently a crack shot, because he hit the drone in center mass, and a bullet hole was found in the drone’s payload area once it returned to a nearby Walmart store.


It’s apparently quite common for Americans to shoot at drones, despite serious legal ramifications. The Federal Aviation Administration punishes any shots fired at drones with the same weight as if you’d opened fire on a Boeing full of passengers. Shooting at any aircraft is charged as a felony with up to 20 years in prison as the recommended penalty.

Walmart says it is working to expand its drone delivery program, hoping to soon have the “largest drone delivery footprint of any U.S. retailer.” With that kind of expansion, plus growing drone delivery programs from Amazon, Doordash, Chick Fil A, FedEx, and others, there are going to be a lot of little delivery bots buzzing around the U.S. in the next few years. At least 44 percent of Americans say they live in a gun-owning household. I don’t see this experiment ending particularly well, honestly.

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