A drone above a grassy field in Seattle. Which is NOT ALLOWED if the grassy field is in a Seattle park.
A drone above a "grassy field" in Seattle. Which is NOT ALLOWED if the grassy field is in a Seattle park. Amehime / Shutterstock.com

Kathleen's understandably pissed that her glorious Sunday picnic in Magnuson Park was interrupted by drones. She's even walking around the office talking about wishing she'd had a gun to shoot that drone down. (Which puts her in the company of one Charles Krauthammer. Ah, when a Sunday picnic in the park brings right into communion with left. Beautiful!)

Two things to know here:

One, although Seattle has tried mightily to ban guns in parks, the Washington State Supreme Court says Seattle can't ban guns in its parks. So, start packing Kathleen?

Two, drones are not allowed in Seattle parks except by a "special permit"—which, last I checked, has never been issued for any drone in any Seattle park. (Not even for the Seattle Police Department's drones, which, back before they got shipped off to LA amid controversy, apparently trained in Discovery Park without a permit.) I found this out a couple years ago when I tried (successfully!) to use a drone to spy on Paul Constant while he was quietly reading in Volunteer Park.

It turns out Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.265 states:

It is unlawful to operate any motorized model aircraft or motorized model watercraft in any park except at places set apart by the Superintendent for such purposes or as authorized by a permit from the Superintendent.

After getting a guarantee of amnesty from the Parks Department for my code-violating Volunteer Park drone use, I posted about the rule in the hopes of letting the public know. Guess some people still haven't heard. But feel free to print out Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.265 and take it with you to your next picnic, Kathleen. How you get it in front of the drone—or its operator—is up to you.