Drones and the Second Amendment

Here’s a recent op-ed from the Washington Post that buries a provocative question to add to the growing list of questions presented by the exploding use of new and innovative drone technology

The author writes, almost as an aside: “If the Second Amendment grants the right of gun ownership to individuals for self-defense, does it allow them to fly their own defensive drones?”

One line of thought is that drones themselves are not the issue. Rather, drones just provide a new platform for traditional activities.  The use of private weaponized drones is a scary idea, but not an obviously illegal one.  To the best of my knowledge, Wisconsin is the only state that has outlawed weaponized drones—and it passed such a law only in 2014.

Here’s an op-ed piece from the Washington Post urging, among other things, a complete ban on weaponizing drones for private use:  Self-Defense Against Overflying Drones.

Share This

Drones Over Sports Arenas

On October 27, 2014, the FAA updated its ban on airplane flights over open-air stadiums with 30,000 or more spectators to include drones.  For the first time, the FAA Notice also explicitly states that violators could be imprisoned for up to a year.

The ban doesn’t apply to indoor arenas.  Drones are now so small and so easily secreted in a backpack, that operators of indoor arenas also have cause for concern.

Share This

Drone First Amendment

Here’s an interesting article on First Amendment implications of growing use of drones by the media.

In California, many cities are starting to consider regulating drone use within their jurisdictions.  Any such regulations will have to survive First Amendment scrutiny and will have to be reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.  How courts will apply traditional public forum analysis to airspace is one of the many interesting and unknown legal questions presented by advances in drone technology.

Share This