In Connecticut, when Austin Haughwout recently posted a video featuring a gun toting quadcopter to YouTube. The local Fox affiliate quickly picked up on the story. If the name Austin Haughwout sounds familiar to you, it should,
Austin Haughwout is “the same teen who got into a scuffle with a woman at Hammonasset State Park last year. That woman was charged with assault after hitting Haughwout when she spotted his drone, with a camera attached, flying above.”
Video of a gun-toting drone is going viral online, with nearly one million views and countless comments.
The drone is a “homemade multirotor with a semiautomatic handgun mounted on it,” according to the video’s description on YouTube.
The 14 second clip only shows the drone flying as the gun fires several shots in a wooded area believed to be in Clinton.
Clinton Police say a teenager uploaded the video.
Attaching a semi-automatic gun to a custom built quadcopter is illegal right? Aren’t drones with guns supposed to be military only? Here is the problem, according to local police “there doesn’t appear to be a state law prohibiting this activity, especially if it was in an area where firearms can be used.”
If the police aren’t regulating this, maybe it falls under the domain of the FAA? Their official position on the matter: “The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated.”
If you’d like to see the video for yourself, I’ve embedded it below:
Flying GunPublished on Jul 10, 2015
Homemade multirotor with a semiautomatic handgun mounted on it.
Note: The length from the muzzle to the rear of the frame is over 26″.
What’s crazy is that this isn’t the first non-military drone to be outfitted with a lethal weapon. Try this search on YouTube, “Quadcopter Gun” and you will see some surprising results.
This video, aptly titled “Prototype Quadrotor with Machine Gun!” shows “Charlene” a prototype drone capable of 30 MPH, carrying 100 rounds and a sub-machine gun.
Prototype Quadrotor with Machine Gun!
While the video above clearly has CGI involved, this is a frightening trend in my opinion. Frightening because I fear weaponized consumer drones will be one of the arguments used to support extreme, industry wide regulations. Regulations that would most likely stifle US drone innovation.