Thursday, August 23, 2012

Idaho Helicopter Shooter Goes to Trial

The Sacramento Bee reports

A north-central Idaho man who prosecutors say shot at a helicopter nearly two years ago is scheduled to stand trial in December.

58-year-old John Ross is set for a Dec. 4 trial in Shoshone County's 1st District Court on a felony charge of interfering with an aircraft. Ross pleaded not guilty to the charge earlier this month.

Prosecutors say on Oct. 14, 2010, Ross fired four shots at a helicopter owned by Hillcrest Aircraft Co. of Lewiston, hitting it twice. The pilot, Earl Palmer, was doing controlled burn work over Potlatch Corp. land in northern Idaho at the time, and he was able to land safely.
I'm not sure what type of weapon Mr. Ross used, but some states consider this a serious enough threat that .50 cal sniper rifles are banned.

Do you think that's an unreasonable concern?   Would such a restriction violate the spirit of the 2nd Amendment? 

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.


  1. I used to live in North Idaho and I can certainly understand how Mr. Ross felt at the time. No, I'm not condoning or advocating shooting down any aircraft but logging and fire fighting helicopters used to buzz my house all the time and it drove me crazy. Those helicopters fly so low that even a .22 cal gun can easily hit them. Whether or not it would cause significant damage is a different story but any larger caliber hunting riffle could easily do enough damage to take down a helicopter. There is no need to ban .50 cal guns.

  2. The only news article that I could find with a mention of the type of rifle said that it was a "high caliber hunting rifle." In Journalese, that could mean anything from a .223 to a 20mm antiaircraft weapon. But in the absence of information, why don't we ban something, right Mikeb?

  3. Maybe he used a .50 cal because of all the hype from the anti-rights gun banners that a .50 cal can "take down an aircraft" and "kill a man two miles away". I blame the Brady Bunch and Joyce for funding the Brady Bunch.

  4. Unless there is a significant problem with .50 cal sniper rifles being used in crimes, then yes it's an unreasonable concern.