Gun-Firing Drone Subject of Federal Investigation

Video shows a drone with a handgun mounted and firing remotely.

ByABC News
July 21, 2015, 7:15 AM

— -- The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a video showing a handgun being fired from a drone in Connecticut.

The video – posted to YouTube July 10 and titled “Flying Gun” – shows a quadrotor drone with a semi-automatic handgun mounted and firing remotely in the woods.

The video was reportedly recorded by 18-year-old Austin Haughwout of Clinton, Connecticut, who told ABC News he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, and that the drone represents "one of my many engineering related activities."

His other projects have included an "electric Razor scooter that I modified to exceed 70 mph and maintenance of a 1976 electric car,” he said.

The handgun incident marks the latest use of drones’ getting the attention of federal authorities. As the small, and relatively inexpensive, aircraft have populated toy and hobby stores, and the skies, there have been an increasing number of problematic situations.

Peter Sachs, an attorney and drone advocate, welcomes the FAA investigation into the armed drone.

“Drones should be used for good, not for evil,” Sachs said.

“There are countless ways that drones can be useful. Using one as a remote-controlled weapon is not one of them, and I question the judgment of anyone who would attempt to do so.”

Federal authorities said they will determine whether any aviation laws were violated, and also “work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes.”

Police say it appears no state laws were broken, according to The Associated Press.

Haughwout is the same teen who made news last year by posting a YouTube video showing his being assaulted by a woman upset about his flying a drone at a state beach, the AP reported.