Monday, June 27, 2016

Michigan considering banning drone-mounted guns--SciFi is Now and 21st Century crime scene

While I expressed disgust, skepticism, and cynicism about the possibility of gun control in the wake of the combined hate crime and lone wolf terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando earlier this month, progress might occur on a peripheral issue.  Fox 47 in Lansing reported last week about a bill that would ban drone-mounted guns in Michigan.

A bill in the Michigan legislature would ban weaponized drones.
It turns out this law isn't entirely necessary, as John Counts of MLive reported in Ban flying guns and hovering flamethrowers? Probably a good call.
The laws on drones are continuing to evolve. For the most part, it's been a privacy issue: keep your drone out of my yard, don't use it take my picture. But the federal law is no longer fuzzy on firearms, according Elizabeth Corey with Federal Aviation Authority.

It's been against FAA rules to arm personal aircraft like planes for years, but just Tuesday it released a finalized version of rules for unmanned aircrafts, Corey said.

"Firearms are not allowed, and careless and reckless operation would be a regulatory violation," Corey said in an email.

Hoadley said while it's against federal regulations, it's still good to put something on the Michigan state books so it can dealt with by local prosecutors, who might be more vigilant than federal prosecutors, which I think is a good point.
This is a different legislative response than the City of Ferndale's.  A year ago April, it was considering an ordinance that would ban drones inside city limits.  The City Council decided to wait for the FAA to issue regulations before acting.  Now that the FAA has done so, it looks like the State of Michigan might act, making weaponized civilian drones a 21st Century crime scene.

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