Drones are everywhere and are gaining popularity for both personal and commercial applications.

An 18 year old Connecticut engineering student has taken the concept of “air power” to a new level by installing a semi-automatic handgun to his drone.  Austin Haughwout built his handgun-firing remote-controlled hovercraft and recorded the accompanying video, which already has several million views on YouTube.

The video shows the drone, with four small rotors supporting a handgun, recoil backwards from each of the three rounds fired, but the gun remains stable.
Haughwout even went to far as to ensure that the overall length of the device exceeded 26 inches lest his drone be classified as an illegal weapon under federal law.

While the state and local police as well as prosecutors have not come up with any state or municipal law specific to the gun-firing drone, the Federal Aviation Administration has begun its own investigation.

The FAA issued a statement: “The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated. The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes.”

In 2013, the FAA’s drone regulator Jim Williams was quoted as saying: “We currently have rules in the books that deal with releasing anything from an aircraft, period. Those rules are in place and that would prohibit weapons from being installed on a civil aircraft.”

The investigation is ongoing.  The debate continues.

Do you think arming small, non-military, unmanned aircraft systems should be allowed?

What about law enforcement agencies? Should they be allowed to use armed drones?

And how does the Second Amendment apply to an individual’s use of armed drones to protect one’s home or farm?

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