Drone Firing Semi-Automatic Handgun, what’s next?

While a video of a drone firing a semi-automatic handgun is circulating on the internet, security experts demand a strict law in the use of UAVs.

I decided to present you this case to raise once again, my concerns on the uncontrolled and the unregulated diffusion of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a powerful instrument for a multitude of usages, from shooting video or relief activities in areas affected by natural disasters.

The drone industry is growing at a rapid pace, the Aerospace research company Teal Group has estimated that sales of military and civilian drones will total over $89 billion in the next 10 years. Unfortunately, these vehicles could be used also by criminals, terrorists and ill-intentioned for dangerous usages.


The use of drones could cause serious problems if made by not expert pilots, in some cases, they can interfere with critical operations such as the fire extinguishing. It is happened recently in southern California where drones delayed the response of firefighting aircraft by 26 minutes due to their unauthorized presence in the area.

“If a plane were to come into contact with a drone, it doesn’t take much imagination to understand what could happen.” reported the HotHardware portal.

Unfortunately, there is a large casuistry of improper uses of a drone, like its usage as a flying gun platform.

I’m not referring to Military unmanned aerial vehicles, but commercial drones equipped with a gun. The situation could become dramatic in places where it is possible to easily acquire weapons and commercial drones, like in the US.

The following video shows a quad-rotor drone hovering in mid-air while firing a semi-automatic handgun four times. The location is property in Clinton, Connecticut and the vehicle was constructed by 18-year-old Austin Haughwout. The video doesn’t need further comments, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) immediately after its publication online started its investigation.

“The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated,” said FAA spokesman Jim Peters. “The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes.”

I hope this post has transferred you my concerns on the abuses of drones. The use of these drones, as well as their legal definition, must be regulated as soon as possible. I would not see in the coming months, videos of drones used by stupid as flying snipers. I desire to remind the guy who built the drone the risks he would face if someone could take control of his aircraft … I am certain that he hasn’t done it!

Pierluigi Paganini

July 29, 2015

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