The FAA Answers the Question, “Should I Put a Gun On My Drone?”

Ok, so who among us hasn’t thought, “I wonder what would happen if I put fireworks or a shotgun on my drone and flew it around?”

Well, the FAA must have been reading our thoughts because yesterday they sent out a nice email reminding us to refrain from attaching weapons of any kind to our drones…just in case anyone was planning to do that.

In the message to registered drone pilots, the FAA specifically noted that adding things like guns, bombs, fireworks, flamethrowers, and other dangerous weapons to your drone is a violation of Section 363 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Those who choose to run afoul of this law will find themselves facing fines of up to $25,000.

What is a ‘Dangerous Weapon’?

In its email, the FAA references U.S.C Title 18 when defining a dangerous weapon.

The term “dangerous weapon” means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2½ inches in length.
U.S.C Title 18 §930(g)(2)
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While guns and fireworks are some obvious violations, this is a pretty wide definition and ultimately allows Law Enforcement with some creativity when it comes to determining whether or not that Nerf Gun you mounted to your Inspire is really a threat. (*P.S. If you’ve actually done that, we’d love to see photos/video of it in action.)

So Why Send The Email Now?

Some have wondered what prompted this sort of reminder from the FAA. However, a quick review of social media confirms that people are indeed doing this kind of stuff, regularly.

While people have attached guns and flamethrowers to drones, the most common choice of armament is fireworks. This, of course, is not necessarily as dangerous as a shotgun or a bazooka, it does present some safety hazards. If you’ve ever been shot with a roman candle, you can attest that it’s not particularly comfortable.

Man uses a drone armed with fireworks to disperse loud street party

Posted by Please Virel videos on Monday, July 15, 2019

Takeaways

This reminder should not shock anyone, but I’m sure there will be some who reject the FAA’s involvement in what should be their ‘God-Given Right as Americans.’ Still, this is common sense people, don’t put dangerous stuff on your drones unless you have a waiver that allows you to do so. However, since waivers are not being granted for §107.23 and §107.36, you might be waiting for a while if you want the FAA to approve your drone gun.

Almaz-Antey AK Drone Gun

Want To Learn More About Drone Regulations?

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