Clearly, weaponized drones, like the hand-built gun-firing quadcopter built by Austin Haughwout, are dangerous in the wrong hands. That’s why we’ve discussed weaponized drones and the dangers they create before, but historically these were one-off, hand-built UAVs. Now the legislature in Connecticut is considering a new bill that could allow for police use of weaponized drones. I emphasized the world “could” in the last sentence because of the language of the bill; the bill makes all weaponized drone illegal, however this ban would not apply to the police. You might think this is a bit of a back door, but it does give the police the ability to use weaponized drones.
The Connecticut legislature is currently pondering whether the state should become the first in the nation to allow the police to use drones equipped with deadly weapons. The proposed bill would ban the use of weaponized drones, however, the ban would not apply to the police.
To use a drone, the proposal would require police to first obtain a warrant, unless there was an emergency circumstance or the person who is the subject of the drone use gave permission. Officers would be obligated to receive training prior to using a drone armed with weapons. Each year, the police would also be required to report on how often they use drones and why, and create new crimes and penalties for criminal use of drones, including voyeurism.
The specifics on how law enforcement could actually use drones with weapons would be specified in rules to be developed by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council.