FAA Reminds Public That Weaponized Drones are Illegal

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a reminder that it is illegal to operate a drone with a dangerous weapon attached.

Operating a drone that has a dangerous weapon – e.g., guns, bombs, fireworks or flamethrowers – attached to it is a violation of Section 363 of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, enacted Oct. 5, 2018, the agency says.

Operators are subject to civil penalties up to $25,000 for each violation, unless the operator has received specific authorization from the administrator of the FAA to conduct the operation. “Dangerous weapon” means any item that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, the FAA explains.

Operators should keep in mind that federal regulations and statutes that generally govern drone operations still apply. Some state and federal criminal laws regarding weapons and hazardous materials may also apply to drone operators or manufacturers involved in certain operations, the agency notes.

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