Can Private Citizens Arm Personal Drones? Courts to Decide in “Flying Gun” Video Case


Austin Haughwout, the creator of the “Flying Gun” and “Roasting the Holiday Turkey.”  (Photo: Josh Hartman / FOX CT)

The teen who created last year’s viral video “Flying Gun” as well as a sequel entitled “Roasting the Holiday Turkey” (which features a flamethrower strapped to a drone) is the subject of a Federal Aviation Administration investigation that will likely be taken to court.

Austin Haughwout and his father, Bret Haughwout, created the weaponized drones in July and December of last year and published their exploits online. The combined viewership of the two videos is well over 4 million, and their popularity has attracted the attention of the FAA.

According to a detailed piece from Vice’s Motherboard, the FAA subpoenaed the Haughwout’s for “photographs and video, receipts for the flamethrower, YouTube audience, advertising, and monetization information, and other evidence that could be used against the family in court should the FAA decide that a crime was committed.”

The Haughwout’s have thus far refused to comply with the subpoena, and Bret Haughwout has stated he will use the “maximum extent of the law” to protect his son.

The FAA has filed a motion to compel the Haughwouts to comply with the subpoena, which is currently making its way through US District Court in Connecticut.

Essentially, the case revolves around two issues: the definition of “aircraft” and the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment issue is a tricky one, as it isn’t clear whether the individual right to keep and bear arms applies to robotic arms as well. Some say it might, but not even all Second Amendment advocates are willing to die on that hill.

“It’s nothing I’ve ever heard of anyone wanting to do,” Dave Workman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms told US News and World Report. “It certainly is an interesting idea, but if you’re launching an armed, remote controlled aircraft, I’d imagine you’d run into some serious safety issues. What if it crashes and you have a loaded gun on it?”

The Haughwout’s lawyer, Mario Cerame, also isn’t convinced appealing to the Second Amendment is his client’s best strategy. Cerame told Motherboard that “he’s not sure if gun drones would be protected by the Second Amendment, and he said invoking the Second Amendment in this legal brief would be ‘too cute.’”

The amendment has a basis and a legal precedent in protecting the right to self-defense, he explained. And since “the gun is not very accurate,” it would be tough to argue the Haughwout’s weaponized drone could be used for self-defense.

The stronger case, according to Cerame, attacks the FAA’s too-broad definition of “aircraft.” Under its current definition, anything that flies through the air—including bullets and plastic bags—is under FAA jurisdiction. Cerame argues that this definition is ridiculously broad, and that his client’s drones should not fall into the same category as manned airplanes, blimps, and helicopters.

“The statutory definition of aircraft is ambiguous, and the FAA’s construction is patently absurd,” he wrote in his legal brief. “Sure, [the regulations] look simple enough. A thing, any thing, that flies.

“The verb fly, as in ‘fly in the air,’ is not so plain, though. There is fly in the sense of airborne locomotion, like how birds fly from one place to another. But . . . flags also fly, when attached to a pole, don’t they? We also say that plastic bags or bits of paper carried on the air fly about—isn’t that a motif in American Beauty? And don’t we say that bullets or knives or any airborn dangerous object—don’t they fly through the air too, especially when there are lots of them? Baseballs can go pretty high—we call it a ‘fly ball.’ Okay.”

The case is ongoing, but Judge Jeffrey Meyer heard oral arguments from both sides earlier this week..

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  • Bob January 25, 2019, 12:19 pm

    I know if I ever found myself rich enough to afford a real airplane, a P-51 or a surplus MiG for example; I would sure as hell cough up the price and tax stamps to have live machineguns or rockets on board. As far as armed drones, If I can build it and fly it, it’s none of FAA’s business.

  • Chris C June 12, 2016, 9:45 pm

    I think this SHOULD fall under what I call the “potato-gun rule.” It is not, in most jurisdictions, illegal to build or use a potato gun. However, if you use it the commission of a crime or with illegal intent (vandalism, destruction of property, etc.), there may be additional charges pertaining to the device in question. I say “SHOULD” because there’s a federal agency now involved. When was the last time anyone reeled in a federal agency for fucking with an American citizen? That pretty much never happens. Has the “drone-gun” guy used his project to commit any crimes? Not so far as I can tell here. So, what is he being investigated and subpoenaed for? Intellectual curiosity and ingenuity? So it would seem. I hope he and his family do well in this, but that’s not generally the case when individuals are pitted against any federal agency. I should stop now.

  • hey June 10, 2016, 11:19 pm

    He will lose because the principal of this story is our government will do everything in its power to take more rights from its civilians and while giving itself more power. Excuse me the exemption are immigrants, lazy people and “real criminals “drug dealers, violent criminals, theves etc. that get off the hook because police are now afraid of lawsuits from black people, or entitlements from the hard working tax payers for votes.

    • Terry June 11, 2016, 10:36 am

      Absolutely agree

  • Jay Warren Clark June 10, 2016, 6:45 pm

    If it about the 2nd then it is bigger than either of the defendants. And this is just a partial story but from this it looks like they might need a new attorney–one who believes in the Second Amendment and who is a go-for-the-throat kind of guy. From the story at least, it looks like this attorney thinks the Second is about hunting or some such nonsense. But then we don’t know how thorough the reporter has been here. JWC

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude August 24, 2018, 6:00 am

      They need to contact the Rutherford Institute.

  • Gary B June 10, 2016, 4:55 pm

    I believe the 2nd amendment meant the keeping of any arms with which to repel a armed militant force. I should be able to keep and bear 155 MM Howitzers, Main Battle Tanks, and Combat aircraft equipped to fight. That right has been eroded since the end of the Civil War so we are only left with small arms.
    The FAA does own the National Airspace system and controls to some extent any airborne operation that has bearing on the Safety of the Public. You as a landowner do not own the airspace above your own property, Many communities and individuals have fought the FAA in court and all have lost. But the FAA is a ponderous and poorly led organization, they often overstep.

    • Tony January 17, 2017, 8:51 pm

      Oddly enough this is my exact position. I should be able to field any sort of weapon that is in use or would be useful to quickly form a militia to repel a foreign invader, and that included missiles, tanks, automatic weapons, flamethrowers, F-15’s, potato guns, forks, knives, shotguns, baseballs, my wife’s horrible cooking, helicopters, and base ball bats. . I think this self defense argument is secondary and not the original intent of the second amendment. 1770’s America was significantly different than it was today and you could not find a single soul alive that would have balked at the idea that you could not keep small arms to defend yourself. It was the big stuff that the second ammendment was put in place for. And for good measure. Look up this fella John Stark. He was a total American badassed who owned personal cannons. Yes they were his. Not ones he captured or stole. Ones he bought and paid for on his. He had a habit of bringing them to and from battles and proceded to and kick British ass. So this is the reason why we need the second amendment. To protect ourselves when the military will not. Think it is far fetched…… Well as much as I like Obama( i really do) when the Republicans shut down the government and Obama goes on tv and says the shutdown might make it difficult for our troops to get paid and maybe they wont get paid. I could crack a smile because I would be more than happy to get my gear on jump in my tank or tow my howitzer down to the boarder and be on alert to put steel on target or go kinetic on Mexican Drug dealers, screamin Chinamen, or what ever decides to come across purple mountain majesties. And it my not be Mexican drug lords, or Chineese…. It may be my very own government that tries to do it.

      And i leave you with this. Hitler did not seize power with the end of a sword. He did it with a ballot box. The Nazi’s did not take the civilians arms away by force. They did it with paper and pen, stamped with an official German Seal. But if those opposed to the Nazi’s were armed…. It would have been a much much different story,,

  • David Ashley June 10, 2016, 3:14 pm

    Given that this is a new thing under the sun, any prosecution would be ex post facto and thus forbidden under the US Constitution.

    If, before the deed, any legal scholar would be asked, “Is there established law in this case?” the answer would be an obvious, “No.”

    Therefore, the practice of deciding after the fact whether a novel activity is a crime is ex post facto, by definition, and to punish a person for doing a deed yet to be prohibited to legal scholars themselves, such a punishment is obviously ex post facto and in violation of the spirit of the Constitution.

    If We the People want something to be forbidden, we have an obligation to make it a clear law FIRST, and only after the violation of such can we fairly punish someone for so violating.

  • Mike Parson June 10, 2016, 2:23 pm

    The FAA has long standing and fully justified rules against mounting weapons to aircraft. That includes dropping sand filled training bombs as well as wing mounted guns. This kid gets points for having fun and coming up with a Youtube moment, but at the end of the day, it’s breaking the law. When you break a law, you pay a price. Simple as that.

    • Robert June 10, 2016, 8:09 pm

      Except it’s not exactly against the law. It could potentially be against the law. You know what is against the law though? The FAA. there’s nothing in the Constitution or amendments to say the federal government can regulate airspace. The only transportation they can constitutionally regulate is post roads. So at the end of the day, the FAA is breaking the law. When you break the law you should pay a price right? Simple as that.

      • Haythem June 11, 2016, 1:19 pm

        I absolutely agree with you Robert. Mike parson you are wrong the kid didn’t break any law matter fact there is a law yet.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 11, 2016, 5:25 pm

      Mike, did you, Fred, and a couple others here take the same ‘Igno-imbecile’ course at different schools you all attended together?

      For your REAL information: FAA/FAR Sec 91:15 Dropping Objects. “No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from the aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. HOWEVER, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property.”

      Again, this one I know by heart because when i was doing charity airshows some years ago when we had an old WW I biplane replica that we mounted a real gun on and dropped bombs from just like they did in France and Europe back, by throwing them out by hand! Because there always was one ‘concerned citizen’ coming up to me later on wanting to know if what we were doing was legal, I always had that page of the FAR in my pocket

      The ‘bombs were home made point detonating flash powder filled firework charges in paper casings that looked real cool going off at the far end off the runway after a strafing run. The gun however was firing blanks instead of real rounds and since we had a class B explosives licence and a fireworks display permit and the airport owner gave us permission, the crowd thoroughly enjoyed it and had a ‘blast’ so to speak.

      Nowadays at the well known Oshkosh EAA Air show they buzz the field far closer to the crowds than I ever did and drop bags of modified Anfo ‘movie-mix’ which create a large flash and smoke cloud guaranteed to skeer the shit out of you if you weren’t paying attention and expecting it?

      So if you have a state explosives/Blasting handler licence and you are a pilot, you can arm your plane and shoot up or bomb your own land anytime you feel like it, other ATF rules notwithstanding.

      But if you flew somewhere else and dropped your bombs on some town or farm house and damaged or hurt someone, Well stock up on Vaseline, asshole, cause you goin to the big hanger at the big house!

      The FAA’s FARs(Federal Aviation Regulations) are like the BATF’s rules. They are NOT Contistitutional Congressional LAWS of the land. Since the ATF always gets away with far too many Administrative Fiat restrictions to slowly erode our 2nd/A, Now other agencies like the FAA are jumping on the criminal bandwagon as we see with these two Drone hobbyists.

      And it never amazes me how so many can be so deluded and brainwashed, by so obvious a Totalitarian government, so unbelievably often these days…
      Where’s these guys legal fund website, I’d like to donate?

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude August 24, 2018, 5:55 am

      Robert is right. Check out that FAA law about weapons and airplanes. I don’t think you’re reading it correctly. I seem to recall it says you can’t do anything ‘criminal’ out of an airplane, just like a car, or walking down the street.
      If you have an airplane and are flying low over your own acreage and dropping fireworks, or strafing tanerite and it’s perfectly safe and you’re not damaging anybody else’s property or endangering anybody, there’s no law specifically prohibiting that.

      And of course they hang out of choppers in Texas with ARs and shoot hogs, don’t they?

      And at airshows they drop Anfo charges to simulate combat bombings…

      I know people who have remote control radio controlled ‘toy” cars that are ‘weaponized’ and quietly patrol their property perimeters against trespassing intruders as a security system. Why expose yourself when a robot can do it for you?

      And it’s okey dokey for the police state to have weaponized drones them but a private citizen cannot! This is the same old bullshit of them against us. They CAN, we Can’t. They want to disarm every effort we have of resisting their steady, never ending totalitarian creep to disarm us, this time bringing in the big guns of the FAA for intimidation.

      This guy should get some donations and support and sue them and if he’s charged with anything, and I can’t believe he will be, put me on that fucking jury. I’ll guarantee a nullification.

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn June 10, 2016, 2:21 pm

    Drones not aircraft? A creative stretch by the two’s attorney though I seriously question the soundness of that interpretation. Don’t be surprised if a judge, then appellate judges – and then on to the top – will exclaim the judicial version of “say what?!” Of course, drones are aircraft. They are manipulated by someone, they rise into the air (okay, they “fly,”) and thus someone has to be responsible for these devices just as an agency must be responsible for regulating their use. Please don’t give me that nonsense about government over-reach or government control blather, either. There’s one thing worse than government going too far and that’s anarchy. Not to have any oversight control is exactly such a dangerous step, too. Yeah, it means us civvies have to be diligent but I’m not afraid of that work.

    • Robert June 10, 2016, 8:12 pm

      So what exactly in the Constitution allows the federal government to regulate drones or even air space for that matter? You say that someone has to regulate it, the 10th amendment says it isn’t allowed to be the federal government.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 11, 2016, 6:02 pm

      Jeffery, There’s nothing worse than a government gone too far because as history always demonstrates, an out of control government Always is a precursor to Anarchy.

      And don’t keep ‘staying after school’ for being a dunce. The idea of drones being aircraft, or not, is more of an exercise in semantics rather than administrative definition for rule making purposes. Yes, almost anything that flys can be considered an aircraft if it is hand ‘crafted’ doesn not legally apply in pragmatic FAA rulings which clearly catagorizes ‘aircraft’ as manmade for controllable sustained flight. There are several classifications. There’s nothing about RC model aircraft in part 135. Nothing in 61, and nothing that i’ve ever seen in any FAR’s regulating drones on private property? So if there are not any specific laws regulating private RC aircraft/drones. Then how can there be any restrictions on what to mount on it?

      So the legal debate of whether or not it’s an ‘aircraf’t won’t be too revelant in the final judgement. What will matter is whether or not whatever it is in its obvious for of a Model Aircraft (pilotless recreation ‘aircraft’) or drone was deployed in violation of some FAA rules? Along with whether or not the use of the pistol in that application was violating some firearms law.

      Again, if there is no specific law preventing the mounting of a firearm on a so-called ‘aircraft’, then the debate’s over?
      And there certainly is no law against flying your ‘aircraft’ drone around your own land below 400ft or whatever the municipal safety rule is currently.

      So I’ll bet anyone mosquito testacles to octopus cock that here is the verdict: CASE FUCKING DISMISSED YOU MORON FASCISTS!

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude August 24, 2018, 6:08 am

      Anarchy? We already have ‘anarchy’. We have anarchy of government bureaucracy of over controlling laws.

  • Chris June 10, 2016, 2:19 pm

    Heres the thing with drones which is true in warefare and self defense; if you arent willing to risk your own life and own blood for a cause that cause is meaningless. That said honor always takes a back seat when it comes down to it. Armed drones will undoubtedly become far more prevalent in our military and will be banned from civilian use.

    • Haythem June 11, 2016, 1:20 pm

      I agree with you too.

  • John Bibb June 10, 2016, 12:42 pm

    That kid and his dad have talent! The fastest best turkey hunter and turkey cooker drones around.
    Their next project should involve a .30 cal M2 carbine. Very handy for remote control Jihadi dustoff work. Maybe they could upgrade a tad and provide some real fear based Jihadi protection for Libyan Consulate Annex work. No F-16’s or gunships needed either. No funeral costs after they get “turkey’d”.

    • Virus June 11, 2016, 1:23 pm

      you are ignorant. First, you don’t know what the word Jihad means second not all Libyan or “Arabs” are terrorist if that what you meant by Jihadi…Go read a book or get some education.

  • Doug June 10, 2016, 11:27 am

    So then I should be able to mount semi-automatic guns on a Cessna and fly around shooting up the countryside? Lets get real! 2A says the right to bear (carry) arms. That means to have it (arms) in possession on your person. It does not mean anything else. I don’t understand why people, both on the right and the left, want to bastardize 2A. Mounting a weapon on a remotely controlled vehicle serves no useful purpose except for the military. Besides, we all know a remotely controlled vehicle can be pirated out from your control by a person with the appropriate radio controller. Hell, the U.S. government lost a drone to Iran a couple years back because they were able to suppress the U.S. radio controls and insert their own control.

    • Erick June 10, 2016, 1:11 pm

      Doug, the original term “bear” – in the 2A – did not mean simply “to carry”. Yes, that was PART of the definition and intent, but it expanded into more than just that. The Colonists and the militia’s also utilized cannons and cannonballs, among other equipment – which were not “carried”, but were “beared” (meaning, owning and being responsible for). Being that cannons were extremely expensive, most individuals could not afford them; but there were privately owned cannons – up until the British Crown began stripping away their individual rights to own cannons, muskets, etc. (This is one of the reasons why the Colonists revolted: b/c of gun-control (cannon-control too? lol) even back then.)
      People incorrectly think that since the technology of today did not exist during the time of the Constitution’s and Bill of Right’s creation, then that means the 2A doesn’t apply to modern firearms and in this case, drones (armed drones). If modern technology makes our rights null and void, then that means you have zero freedom of speech when it comes to the Internet; court cases for the last 40+ years are mistrials b/c they used modern technology (storing data on harddrives, conducting cases via webcam/internet, etc); churches have no freedom of religion b/c many use lighting, projectors, computers, speakers, etc. for worship; even voting has been all for nothing due to electronic ballot machines. See how this line of thinking goes?
      Our rights do not erode b/c of the advancement of technology; rights progress with the advancement of technology. The Founders and Framers did not think we’d still be living in log homes and riding horse and buggy 200 years into the future. Even they lived during a time of technological advancements (Benjamin Franklin was an avid inventor himself).

      In regards to the FAA case: These people in question used their own equipment on their own land. No crimes were committed other than being creative – and in this politically correct world, that’s a sin simply b/c they failed to ask our masters in government. They did not use this tool in the commission of a crime. This creativity isn’t going to destroy the world. I doubt the Crips and Bloods gangs will use these drones to do “fly-bys” or rob gas stations. Grandmas can safely knit (or reload ammo for you gun-ho grandmas!) without fear of the evil drones going rogue and starting an artificial intelligence revolution against the humans.
      This is another case of bored, lazy bureaucrats pretending to do something worthwhile so they can justify to themselves that they matter in this world and to keep receiving a paycheck they did nothing to earn. Red-stamping and shoveling papers – a trained monkey can do the same.

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 11, 2016, 1:53 pm

        Eric, right on! That’s one of my pet peeves on the subject too! They’s gun confiscators will try anything and everything and bring confirmation bias verbige to new levels of stupidity, I always counter their moronic logic by telling them the revolutionary militia aka the volunteer citizen soldiers against tyranny during the 1st American Reolution had everything and sometimes better than the standing Army Regulars.

        In Fact, the Tennessee civilian militia brought in their own rifled barreled longer range ‘squsirrel guns’ which were much better than standard issue rifles in Washington’s Army. And they became the first American snipers for all pragmatic purposes.

        And, in fact, up until the 1934 National Firearms Act, which prohibited and registered and taxed the heavier infantry automatic weapons and cannons, you could still own them if you could afford them and were paper work free! This was the beginning of the population disarmament agenda.

        We must repeal all gun control laws and start over if we ever want to even have a chance of not getting them confiscated and keeping what few liberties we have left.

    • FRED BATTLEY June 10, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Apparently you are not a well studied pilot if you were you would know that’s it’s” Illegal To Arm Non-Military Aircraft” other wise I am sure the BLM and U.S. forest service would have armed aircraft patrolling public lands! The argument here is if a drone is classified as a “aircraft” under the FAA regulations ! Just like there are no Department of Transportation rules regarding arming a remote controlled Toy trucks /cars. Nothing like a R/C toy hummer with and AR-15 with a 100 round beta magazine !!

      • Virus June 11, 2016, 1:34 pm

        i agree with Eric. He is well educated man. Fred Battley apparently you know nothing about freedom and 2nd A.

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 11, 2016, 3:39 pm

        Well, Fred, you might be right that I’m not a ‘well studied’ pilot, but I always aced my exams somehow???

        And as far as I recall, the only gun laws (or administrative rules??)…that the FAA had were a couple in part 135, i seem to recall was a section that dealt with prohibiting carrying guns on the plane. which of course were Commerical Airlines only.

        But I don’t recall ever seeing anything specifically stating that it was illegal to mount a gun on your private Cessna 150 which was ‘not for hire’?

        If that is true, And there isn’t a law AGAINST mounting an operational firearm in the nose of your private aircraft then guess what? Yup, you guessed it on the first shot! Because as your last premiss alluded to, you can legally Put your AR-15 on your RC Hummer and Remote control shoot that on your private property just as you can target shoot from your shoulder on your own property.

        The peripheral municipal safety laws would still apply, like not shooting in the direction of someone else’s house and such, and being liable if you hit them. Or maybe if you had one of those Totalitarian States that didn’t allow shooting practice while intoxicating yourself, then your little ‘Hummer from Hell’ could be probably be construed by an overly ambitious responding officer to be a DUI charge, besides??LOL! But you’re missing the point because RC radio controlled model cars AND model Airplanes are not regulated under the DOT. in the same capacity as the passenger carrying manned vehicles. In as much as any other ‘thing’ that might accidentally or intentionally Interfere with the traffic and/or commerce/utility flying or driving of manned passenger vehicles. And in that capacity are the only restritions. If you drive your RC Hummer onto a runway or crash your RC Airplane/’Drone into a Control Tower or even flash your high intensity laser at the cockpit of a landing Real FAA designated Aircraft, well then you should get quickly arrested for criminal intent and furtherance to do great bodily harm or physical property damage.

        And Toy Model Flying RC aircraft are not as far as I know classified as Real Aircraft under the DOT FAA rules.
        At best they should have restrictions, which most municipalities have, as to where you can fly and operate them in public areas. Nothing more.

        That’s probably why this kid and his father didn’t immediately get arrested and charged. Believe me they had everything from BATF to the Dept of Forestry looking to see what they could get him on. But THERE’S NO FUCKING LAW SPECIFICALLY AGAINST arming your drone and shooting it on your own property….Otherwise, as David Ashley above so astutely pointed out. anything they are trying to pull here is illegal. So they are just ‘fishing’ and asking their …victims to help them build a case against them, LOL!

        It’s bad enough Obama boosted the AR-15 sales through the roof, now with 4 million hits, hahahahah!, it could be that before HellBitch Hillary takes the crown, we could have another civilian Militia waiting in the wings with numerous Drone Divisions, hahahahah! So the regime gets nervous with stuff like this. I’m surprised they didn’t try–well, i’m not going to say it. don’t want to give them any ideas. This kid will win this if he gets the right lawyer.

        I know a rich guy who is a government contractor and has his own helicopter and has a mini-gun mounted on it and flys it up over his own private ranch and blasts away and old cars and stuff on his own Private Property!.. I’m sure he has to have the BATF class3 tax/stamp but there are no specific BATF ‘rules’ about how you play with it on your private property that I’ve ever seen?

        I’ve also been at a couple of those huge Machine Gun Shoots and remember a chopper flying with a mounted door gun that you could blast into to side of the range hill with if you paid for it?

        Someone just told me he was shooting hogs from up in a chopper on a guided hunt in Tx with his AR-15? So why would your BLM aircraft NEED to MOUNT a gun on their aircraft. they all carry military grade weapons ON Board open carry with when they’re flying? Since it’s not day after day of constant jungle warfare, why would they need to go to all that trouble and expense? But there’s no law that says they Can’t, is there? IF THERE IS SHOW ME?

        So Fred if I’m not ‘well studied ‘ as a pilot, and it’s because I don’t know that “It is illegal to arm a non military aircraft”
        Why don’t you telljust me the exact law that states this exactly ? Because if you’re so smart and KNOW differently, and are so kind as to let us know the exact statute authority, number and section and we’ll thank you for the reality check?

        Otherwise, I know it’s hard going through life as it is, but if you’re stupid, besides, it’s almost impossible. So if you can’t show us this ‘law’, then please STFU until you KNOW something of valid contribution here. We’re trying to figure out here if the Totalitarians have any real authority to plague us with even further censorship by Fiat?

  • bearbear June 10, 2016, 11:16 am

    Be careful. Dont tell friends to go fly a kite. They might get visited by the FAA.

  • Wayne A Lincourt June 10, 2016, 11:15 am

    You can’t be too careful…

  • bearbear June 10, 2016, 10:53 am

    If a person or vehicle follows or shadows you, you have the perfect right to be suspicious and find out who and why. It’s impinging on your personal safety and security. Right? In most cases a regular law enforcement vehicle is bound io be identifiable; the officialt has the responsibility to identify to you by just what jurisdiction, authority, etc presence is justified. Today, potential threats to one’s safety & security can come from airspace just as much from roads, the earth itself, or even under the water. Thus, until its ownership and purpose are clearly established, whether a car or a drone of unidentified origin, may be considered a potential threat. Now, think about a game warden. Whether walking, riding a 4-wheeler, in a truck, boat, airplane etc, legal entry and inspection of your property requires some proper identification, beginning with vehicle, or uniform & badge. Also note, use of motorized vehicles, boats, aircraft, etc to pursue either game or nongame wildlife is illegal with rare exceptions. So wouldnt anything for which a legal purpose cannot be identified that’s in airspace in proximity to property be considered harassing the wildlife, whether being hunted or not? For example, fly over my dove field, it better be clearly proven to me that you are on official business and not a threat to my safety & security. Do your business & get gone. . Note: Stalking a person is serious and against the law. You better be ready to identify yourself unless you are actually engaged in legitimate, official criminal investigation or potential justifiable future civil action. Bottom line, dont be sneaking round my back door, my business or my farm without identifying yourself or I will treat you like a common trespasser. Fair enough?

  • cisco kid June 10, 2016, 10:52 am

    Whenever the “Ruling Elite” has its absolute power threatened it matters not what the Constitution says it is what they say that will become law. It is the “Ruling Elite” that grants what little freedom you have not the Constitution. The Supreme Court of California yesterday said they felt threatened by “concealed carry” so they simply outlawed it and boldly stated “only the ruling elite have the right to self defense or security as the proletariat are expendable and since they might at some future point threaten the “Ruling Elite” their Constitutional rights are hereby trashed. Of course the same will apply to armed drones. The future ruling is self-evident and pre-ordained, Constitution or no Constitution , former rights or laws not withstanding.

  • Gr3ndel June 10, 2016, 10:30 am

    I’m not sure what the big deal is with the drone. Sure these don’t look like the most responsible people we have here, but that is where my concern rests. As far as armed drones, that is nothing new, even in the civilian world. They have been using them on hogs in Texas for YEARS! One specific example I remember from YouTube as well showed a drone with a suppressed AR-10 fed by a 150 round drum with NV and thermal sighting systems for remote hunting at night. Although it’s really more “pest control” than hunting.
    So the question is if people do this in an irresponsible way and injure people or damage property do we have legal ways of holding them accountable for their actions? I believe existing laws will do that, so we don’t really need anymore do we?!

  • John June 10, 2016, 10:15 am

    Question, with a drone how do you:
    Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
    Keep your trigger finger outside the trigger guard and off of the trigger until you are ready to fire.
    Be certain of your target, your line of fire, and what lies beyond your target.
    Licensed Pilot
    NRA Instructor

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 10, 2016, 11:20 am

      As a pilot you actively keep your plane pointed in a ‘safe’ direction, don’t you?
      So if it has armament in the nose, that’s just an addition to the ‘projectile’ (fuel-air missile/bomb, actually) you are already ‘shooting’ through the air??? So the reality is in the perception of control over the action. You do it adequately when flying your aircraft, and you do it likewise flying your small armed drones. The Sheriff’s departments already using these drones in a few states with more climbing aboard every day are getting ready to fly them ‘armed’ if their state passes illegal laws allowing them to do this?

      Also, there are no laws as such and the 2nd/A does not specify or exclude remote trigger pulling. In fact, the military does this all the time in various applications. They even fly the entire aircraft and initiatie the firepower ALL SAFELY by REMOTE Control.

      The flaw in your thinking comes from the flaw in semantics when referring to firearms safety. In reality you cannot be carrying your firearm without at some ‘point’ having it pointing at something you don’t want to destroy. Firearms are still potentially ‘dangerous’ even in their holsters as long as they are within reach. The max safety idea is to keep the firing mechanism disengaged until that mode of action is intentionally overridden. The firearm/device-until it gets its own AI-, is always subject to the deleterious behavior of the human in the ultimate analysis. In other words, just because a gun is balanced on your head, hanging off an airplane, or situated as a hood ornament on your Semi-truck, doesn’t mean anything as to its element of danger potential.???

      Licensed commercial pilot
      Former USA Sniper Instructor
      Current high speed low drag tactical firearms instructor/consultant for private contract.

      • Clem June 10, 2016, 11:22 pm

        Completely agree with you!

        The next question is will the FAA be suing the 9/11 terrorists and Saudi Arabia for violating their laws by using an airplane as a weapon?

        EDC American who happens to be an accountant.

      • Virus June 11, 2016, 1:42 pm


  • Gary Lee Barnes June 10, 2016, 8:57 am

    He (they) did not break any firearms laws so the Second Amendment really does not come into play. I agree that the FAA should not have the omnipotent power to apply their rulings to all things that fly and this case should be pivotal to define that authority. This is just another case of Government overreach. Come on, REALLY? They are using the power of the courts and their taxpayer funded attorneys to accumulate information while trying to apply loose interpretations to punish someone for a crime if they can invent one? No one was hurt, no property damage and no intent………………Find something else to waste the taxpayers money on!

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 10, 2016, 10:47 am

      This is complete Federalist Fucking Totalitarian BULLSHIT! When I used to go out to Tx and visit my wealthy friends who upped the excitement factor of shooting your beercans after a barbecue to firing cannons and mortars and legally full auto M-2’s well within the safe boundaries of their own private land.

      The Totalitarians (even Trump called them ‘Totalitarians’ at a recent rally in ND, i believe) are just currently emboldened by the lack of resistance to their recent sinister successes like the FBI rule change request to kill Constitutional due process by circumventing the 1974 Privacy Act by not allowing you to find out if you are in their biomentric data bases just because you tweeted or face booked a photo of yourself, or on their No Fly, or other illegal Watch or Shit lists, primarily to queue you up for the ‘Confiscation Parade if when (???) the HellBitch gets in? This rule amounted to nothing less than the guaranteed formation of a fully operational Staci Police State Agency. The time limit for oppositional debate ran out Wednesday,, ironically, the 6th of June. But I’m betting that ‘THEY’, NOT We the People, will get another notch in their weapons against liberty.

      And with the recent anti-2nd/A legislation from the leftist Billionaire financed Juidicial Court BENCHES, The Firearm Fascists are super jerked off at the ruling that could blow in a new storm of anti-carry laws in many states.

      As far as some of these well meaning but still nit-wittish notions of ‘Safety Issues’ mentioned in the article like crashes leaving loaded guns exposed, what about CAR crashes doing the same thing? What about the Cessna that just crashed in the mall in Houston today? Are you going to ban flying airplanes just because they might crash? “You can always make money betting on people’s abject stupidity…when it comes to giving up their liberties.” P.J. Klipangle.

      If these ‘hobbyist’ gunowners want to ‘arm up’ their drones, as long as they do it on their own property and don’t damage anyone else’s property or hurt anyone then THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD STICK THEIR DIRTY FUCKING NOSES OUT OF IT!

      If these armed drone flyers do endanger someone or damage something then they get charged and have to PAY, and even jailed, just like they would with any other ‘THING’ that can be abused?

      Drones, AI, and all high tech cannot be stopped from future integration into the lives of citizens in a Free Country. You wouldn’t believe the personal anti-intrusion perimeter robots that someone i know is building for private property security that gives new and amazing meaning to ‘junkyard dog’ protection!

      But If you want to really know why the Fascist Feds are investigating this? Gso to and check out the article on Police drone usage currently lifting off to new heights of privacy right violations. The ‘breaking news’ is that we don’t have to worry about private citizens playing with armed drones. We have to worry about the POLICE STATE already having and using them!

      Never forget that everything this regime and its sychophants and mindless minions do is for one thing only. To disarm American Free citizens. Why? Well it’s certaily proven not to be for their own safetey. Which is one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the people.

      Instead of the FAA looking into what they can BAN, the ACLU and massive voice of the Freedom loving people should be looking into banning ANY future laws without a full democratic referendum. And in the interim, we must get our legislators to begin repeals on all anti-2nd A laws already in place.

      • Virus June 11, 2016, 1:51 pm

        Man i don’t know what to say you. you said every thing i wanted to say. Especially, this part. ” should be looking into banning ANY future laws without a full democratic referendum. And in the interim, we must get our legislators to begin repeals on all anti-2nd A laws already in place.” This is how it should be. in free countries.

  • Ramkiller June 10, 2016, 8:45 am

    2A and FFA regs aside, that flamethrower video is one of the stupidest things I’ve seen. All of that dry fuel around, then they add fire, accelerant and fast moving air. They’re lucky they didn’t start a forest fire. They might be smart enough to build a device like this, but they sure don’t have the common sense to operate it. I’d hate to be on the range with them. They’re probably the types that indiscriminately wave their guns around other people because they know the guns unloaded because they fired the last shot.

    • bearbear June 10, 2016, 11:12 am

      wooo. Is a flamethrower hard to make? And why the stupid govt would ask them to self-incriminate is beyond me.
      Food for thought: If it’s a UFO, and it FLIES, it DIES. Just like wild hogs. Maybe better. No License. No season. No limit. No plug. Recyclable. No meat. Hey, even PETA shouldn’t have a problem. Baiting? Got to think on that a bit. LMAO

  • Jim Miller June 10, 2016, 8:29 am

    I, for one, believe this type of thing should be suppressed and not allowed except possibly on or over a person’s own property and whatever airspace that legally affords. No mention was made if the “teen” was legally able to carry/possess a handgun. In my state, a handgun may not be given or loaned to another individual by the owner. In any case, I cannot wait for a drone, armed or not, to come within range of my turkey shotgun and goose loads.

    • bearbear June 10, 2016, 10:56 am

      Like Davey Crockett said: Be sure you’re right then go ahead.

  • ROFCIBC June 10, 2016, 8:15 am

    I would opine the old adage (which I made up) of “The ONLY way to take care of a can of worms, once opened, is with a BIGGER can!” applies.
    If this case hinges on the 2nd, which I don’t think it does, cannot a citizen connect the “person with their finger on the trigger” (the person flying the drone) with the weapon itself on the drone? In other words, cannon I as a citizen who has a weapon pointed at me (drone with weapon flys over) go to the “person with the finger on the trigger” and defend myself by firing on that person?
    Yeah, yeah, I know how do you find that person with their “finger on the trigger”? But if you could, would you be justified in “defending yourself” by firing back? Even if the drone doesn’t fire a shot, is it any different than having a gun pointed at you?
    Or can you “return fire” toward the drone itself?
    The can only gets BIGGER!

  • GunFlint1 June 10, 2016, 8:10 am

    Something from Terminator. Don’t think the Government already has them ? Think again.

  • Rollin Shultz June 10, 2016, 6:30 am

    Judge Meyer is an Obama appointee so it will be very important to make sure we spread the news about this. We know the MSMedia will take the pro government position so we cannot depend on any honest reporting from them. we must generate interest in the public eye of the base issue here and that is “Government Over Reach”. I do not expect the judge to lean toward freedom or civil liberties.
    It was inevitable someone would create an armed drone and there are probably many people working on it in their spare time daily. It is also inevitable someone will create a drone with the capability to make extreme long shots and do even better than some current military drones.

    Drones could be employed in specific home defense in WACO type situations where a government force is in the act of suppression of citizens. A drone swarm could be inexpensively created and employ small cheap drones with a small explosive package on each for engagement of such a force when an overwhelming force tries to steal land from citizens as the BLM does often as we have seen in Oregon and Nevada.

    Since the legal team wants to take the “what is an aircraft” defense angle I hope they set up a funding site as we need to donate money to make sure they have the tools to win this fight. Next they may outlaw cameras on drones because it gives the MSMedia competition.

  • Mike June 10, 2016, 6:25 am

    So what we have here is a perfect example of just how important the 2nd Amendment is to the people of this country. Can you imagine? If this kid can build a drone like this, just contemplate what the Armed Forces have at their disposal.

    A few people, hidden away in a safe house, with access to the US armed forces, arsenal of drones could wipe out a major city’s key personal and infrastructure within a day.

    • Robin Miller June 10, 2016, 10:07 am

      No need to imagine. Ask any Talibani or Al Qaeda member. They’ll give you an earful about our armed drones.

  • Will Drider June 9, 2016, 9:18 pm

    This is not a issue of an airborn vehicle or firearm/flamethrower. It is a issue of simultaneously remote control of both. Think of it the same way as the bump fire stock, within current regulations but the Gov does not like its capabilities. The range, capacity, program potential have grown dramatically while civ ownership is just a matter of money. Though crude in the vids, sophisticated integration of drone/weapon/ explosive/other is bound to happen. The Gov desires to be the only one on the block with the capability to remotely kill from the air. That is the issue.

    I’m sure the Gov is busy writing proposed Law and Regulation on this issue. It will probably be a total ban on “Civilian” ownership of the technologies when combined. Just below that would be inclusion into the NFA.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude June 11, 2016, 4:41 pm

      Rollin! ROLLIN!! ROLLIN!!!

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