Guns are legal and drones are legal, but guns mounted on drones are definitely not legal. However, that isn’t stopping some people from making their own gun-mounted drones. It only takes a small amount of technical know-how to craft one.
This video uploaded to YouTube last Friday, claims to show a “homemade multirotor with a semiautomatic handgun mounted on it.” The drone fires four times, with the recoil from each shot pushing it backwards in the air. If the footage is real, then the craft is certainly illegal — at least from the perspective of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), which regulates aircraft and drones.
“We currently have rules in the books that deal with releasing anything from an aircraft, period,” said FAA drone regulator Jim Williams back in 2013. “Those rules are in place, and that would prohibit weapons from being installed on a civil aircraft.”
Despite what the FAA says, some people might try to claim this activity as their right. Does the Second Amendment apply to drones with guns? Legal scholars have already investigated similar claims covering robotic weapons, for example, with one law clerk, Dan Terzian, suggesting in a 2012 paper “The Right to Bear (Robotic) Arms” that there is a “very real possibility of robots being [defined as] arms under current Second Amendment doctrine.” Presumably the same interpretation might also cover drones.