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Answer Man: Keep drones out of people's hair

Dear Answer Man, I was going to address you as "wise guy," but I think it's more appropriate to use the title "bearer of knowledge." In writing to you, I feel more humble than Johnny Carson did when addressing t he Great Carnac.

If I saw a flying drone pass over my property, I would leave it alone. If it hovered over my property, I would have the urge to shoot it down, which is probably a no-no. My question is, what law enforcement agency would have the authority to arrest me, who would prosecute me and what would the charge be? -- Not Trigger Happy in Byron

First of all, a clarification: I don't think Johnny Carson ever directly addressed Carnac. Carson was good, but not that good.

And second, you made an appropriate choice between "wise guy" and "bearer of knowledge."

Regarding drones, I could swear I addressed this a while back, but all I could find in the archive was my wisecrack about how someday, this column will be written by a drone. Then I found it -- I brilliantly addressed this after a kid buzzed the Olmsted County Courthouse floors at the Government Center last spring.


Well, not to drone on, but the laws for drone use are lagging far behind the technology, and the FAA has "voluntary guidelines" in lieu of final regulations . The FAA asserts it's the final legal authority on drone use, though state laws and local ordinances could just as easily come into play, depending on the incident.

To just stick with the hypothetical case proposed by my Byron reader, I'm going to guess that some local authorities would be far more interested than the FAA, FBI, ATF, CIA, USAF or NASA. My advice is, just call the cops if somebody's driving you crazy with a drone.

And my advice to drone users: be sensible and keep them out of other people's hair.

Dear Answer Man, font of wisdom and clarity: If the Minnesota Legislature allows for Sunday liquor sales, does that mean Rochester and other cities would no longer be able to control the number of liquor licenses?

There's no connection between legislative proposals for allowing liquor stores to be open on Sunday and how cities control liquor licenses, as far as I know.

To recap the issue, Minnesota is one of a dozen states that don't allow liquor sales on Sunday, and all our neighboring states allow it. As you likely know, grocery stores can only sell limpid 3.2 beer, but here's something I didn't know: They can't sell it before 10 a.m. Sunday. That's apparently to make sure people go to church before buying their weak beer.

Eventually, this 80-year-old blue law is going to fall. It may as well be this year.

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