Recording of Drone Shooting Gun Raises Concerns

An 18 year old’s video of his drone firing a gun has caused a public outcry and sparked investigations by local and federal agencies.

Correction: Previously, CS reported that the building of the drone was part of a class project. It was not. After the video of the drone went viral, the student showed the video to his engineering professor, Edward Moore. Moore says the class has nothing to do with drones, but he encourages his students to share their ideas and to try and construct them. “That’s why he (Haughwout) showed me his video,” explains Moore. “I immediately told him it was a terrible idea. In no way did I assist him – I discouraged him, as I would my own children.”

People are concerned and upset after a Connecticut teenager filmed his flying drone shooting a gun and posted it to Youtube on July 10.

Austin Haughwout, 18, built the drone and then mounted a semiautomatic handgun to it and made a video, shown below, of it hovering while firing several shots.

No one was injured and no laws appear to have been broken in the video, which was shot on private property. But law enforcement personnel, lawmakers and citizens have expressed concern over the implications of the video, which has already been viewed over three million times.

A series of investigations, by local agencies like the Clinton Police Department and federal agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration, are taking place to determine if any laws were broken and the best way to prevent people from attaching weapons to their drones, according to

Campus Safety Magazine has reported on drones risking public safety in various ways, by doing things such as flying over wildfires and crowded football stadiums, but never with weapons attached.

Laws were introduced in California July 20 to allow authorities to employ jamming technology to down drones they deem a threat to public safety. The federal government and other states may be quick to follow with their own drone regulations after the 18 year old’s video.

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