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This state wants to ban gun-toting, flame-shooting, gas-spraying drones

Connecticut wants to ban the weaponization of drones, after a teen armed his drone with a handgun and a flamethrower.

“The laws have not caught up with technology,” Det. Sgt Joseph Flynn said last December, after police in Clinton, Connecticut were asked about a second incident of an armed drone in that small town.

Flynn was referring to a video, apparently posted on YouTube by 18-year-old Austin Haughwout, showing a remote-controlled quadcopoter drone equipped with a home-made flamethrower.

Haughwout’s original claim to fame was another video, posted last July, showing a flying drone firing a handgun in a wooded area.

Haughwout was never charged with a crime.

Now a pair of proposed laws being considered in Connecticut would put an end to arming recreational drones.

A proposal on the “weaponization of drones” would prohibit using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to release tear gas, remotely control a weapon or “explosive or incendiary device.”

Both bills (one submitted in the Connecticut House of Representatives, the other in the state Senate) use the same language in reference to armed drones.

Except as otherwise provided by law, no person shall operate or use any computer software or other technology, including, but not limited to, an unmanned aerial vehicle, as defined in subdivision (29) of section 15-34 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, that allows a person, when not physically present, to release tear gas or any like or similar deleterious agent or to remotely control a deadly weapon, as defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes, or an explosive or incendiary device, as defined in section 53-206b of the general statutes.

Connecticut lawmakers had previously considered, but not passed, anti-drone legislation, according to the Hartford Courant.

As recreational drone use takes off, many US states are putting laws on the books to regulate their use.

The states of Oregon, North Carolina and Wisconsin have already banned weaponized drones, while Oregon, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Michigan all passed laws prohibiting the use of drones in hunting, as CNN reports.

Last September, California’s governor blocked passage of a law that would have made it illegal to fly drones less than 350 feet above private property without the property owner’s permission.

If you’re a recreational drone user, make sure you know what restrictions and public safety requirements there are in your city, state or country.

Fly safe!

Image of quadcopter and pilot courtesy of


If you are going to allow people to own more or less any amount of guns then I can’t really see this as being philosophically different. Kill someone with a weapon in your hand or attached to a drone and the result is the same. It’s probably considerably harder to aim a handgun on a floating platform so it may be marginally safer that way.


@Simon it is very different. The drone uses a remote control. Very likely a 2.4GHZ public band remote control that can get interference. Also, with all of the different models of controls, servos and power controls, what happens at low or no battery? Do any of them jitter the servers at low power? Are you sure? Are you willing to bet the lives of those around you on it? This is the same reason these things should never be flown over others. They are not reliable enough to be a mounting platform for offensive weapons. This is coming from a long time RC hobbiest and a gun nut. These two hobbies do not need to be merged. Now answer this, what bearing does the amount of guns I own have on anything? If collecting guns is my hobby, why is that someone an excuse to allow for something that is not safe. Very philosophically different.


It says you can’t “remotely control a deadly weapon” aren’t cars considered deadly weapons? I wonder if this affect companies like Google and their driver less cars.


When was the last time you saw a flying car outside of a movie theatre? Was it remotely piloted by someone who could not be subdued by direct assault on the vehicle itself?


Tell me again…What does this have to do with computer/network security?


Hi Laurence, thanks for your comments. A lot of our readers are interested in drones so we like to cover the subject. Hope that helps you understand a bit more. :-)


Internet of Things. Remote access. Security and safety of remote control and remote access. Legislative regulation of computer technology. Lots of facets that are relevant in modern IT. Also….DRONES!


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